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Byline: By Karen Bale

A TEENAGER has told how she's joining the Army so she can serve alongside her dad and twin brother in Afghanistan.

Jade Hynds, 18, has been accepted for the Dental Corps and hopes to be reunited with her family.

Last week, the Record told how her dad Kenneth and her 18-year-old brother Kenny are fighting the Taliban in Helmand province.

Now Jade has spoken out to reveal how much she and her brother owe their father, who put his Army career on hold 16 years ago to bring them up.

Kenneth, 40, returned from Germany to Scotland to rescue his kids, who had been taken off their heroin addict mother and were about to be put in care.

He came home to Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, and was a single dad for more than a decade.

But he returned to the Army and was soon joined by his son. Now Jade, too, is entering the forces.

She said: "We owe my dad so, so much. He brought us up and is everything to us.

"It's really worrying my dad and Kenny both being out in Afghanistan and every day, I dread the Army car's going to pull up outside the house with bad news.

"But now I'm joining up too and the three of us can all be together.

"We are so close, we've been through so much."

Jade's father is a lance corporal with the Argylls while her brother is with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

To his children, Kenneth has always been a hero.

Jade told how he first joined the Argylls in 1985 but left for the sake of his kids. She said: "My dad was in the Army for eight years when he was contacted by social workers.

"Me and Kenny were being put into foster care because my mum was a heroin addict and didn't look after us."

The couple had split up when the twins were babies and their mother had claimed their father was dead.

Jade said: "My mother and her boyfriend were heroin addicts and we were being badly treated.

"The police eventually found us, we were only about two and a half. I remember things that happened but I don't like to remember.

"So, social work phoned my dad and he left the Army to take us out of foster care and bring us up so we wouldn't be separated.

"He left the Army completely to bring us up and we owe him so, so much.

"We haven't seen our mum since we were five."

Kenneth, who had been based in Rintlein, Germany, with the Argylls, moved back to Grangemouth, near his mum Betty and stepdad William. He put his career on hold while the kids were little.

Jade said: "My dad was a single parent so he couldn't go out and work having two kids. But he went to college and when we got a bit older, he got a job as an assistant looking after disabled people and my gran and grandad helped him look after us."

In 2002, when the twins were 13, Kenneth joined the Territorial Army and the following year he rejoined the regular Army.

When the twins were 14, he was posted to Iraq.

Jade said: "It was hard but my dad hadn't been able to work for years and he always wanted to join the Army again when we were older.

"It was difficult - he was our main support because of what my mum did. We'd already lost one parent and I was scared we were going to lose another one.

"But dad used to write on email and tell us how hot it was out there and about the camel spiders that chase your shadow."

She added: "When he came back, me and Kenny decided we both wanted to join up too."

Kenny joined up days after his 16th birthday and moved away to the Army foundation college in Yorkshire before joining the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in Germany.

The twins' dad moved to Canterbury, Kent, with the Argylls.

Jade said: "I wasn't sure what to do and I moved down to the Army base with my dad for a while but I missed my friends.

"I moved back to Grangemouth to stay with my gran and grandad while I applied to join up."

In April, Jade passed her entrance exams for the Army with flying colours and is waiting to be posted to her first base.

She said: "I'll be a dental nurse and, eventually, I'll hopefully be a dentist.

"I can see me joining my dad and Kenny one day. I'd be scared but I'd like us all to be together."

She added: "My dad means the world to us, he brought us up and we owe him so much.

"I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to either of them.

But I'm so lucky to have them both."

Her gran Betty MacKenzie, 62, said: "I'm so proud of my son for bringing up the twins.

"He always wanted to go back to the Army one day, so I'm really happy for him.

"Him and Kenny being out in Afghanistan together has brought them even closer together. I worry about them but it's comforting knowing they're together.

"We're really proud of Jade too."


SO PROUD: Jade would love to team up with her dad and brother, far right, in Afghanistan. Inset centre, a school photo of the twins and, inset bottom, the story in last week's Record; CLOSE: Jade with her gran Betty
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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