Kallum Stone, brother of fallen soldier Gregg, joins Army
HIS older brother was killed in Afghanistan less than a year ago.
But Kallum Stone, 18, was today beginning his first day as an Army recruit.
Gregg, 20, a private in 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (3 Yorks) was shot dead by the Taliban while rescuing a senior Afghan policeman last June.
Last night, as he bid farewell to his home village of Atwick, near Hornsea, Kallum said: "Gregg would be very proud.
"Before he went to Afghanistan, Gregg said to me, 'Live your dream and get in the Army, Bruv'.
"Well, that's what I'm doing."
Kallum's parents, Bob and Angie, drove him to Infantry Training Centre, Catterick in North Yorkshire, where he will embark on a 26-week training course.
It was the same journey the couple made for Gregg.
Angie, a deputy manager at William Hill, said: "I don't think life would be that cruel to take two of my sons.
"We've been told it's not impossible that Kallum will go to Afghanistan.
"Of course, we would be worried, but he would go with pride and with our full backing."
Angie shrugs off any suggestion she is brave for giving Kallum her blessing to join the Army.
"I'm just an ordinary mum," she said. "Part of me thinks, 'don't let him go'. But I wouldn't be a good mum if I did that.
"This is what Kallum has always wanted to do and we have to support him, just as we did with Gregg."
On passing-out, Kallum intends to join his brother's old battalion, currently based in Warminster, Wiltshire.
He said: "I'm pretty nervous. It's not going to be easy.
"I am sure Gregg will be watching from somewhere.
"When I pass-out, my chest will be puffed out, I'll probably have a tear in my eye and I will be thinking about Gregg."
Kallum revealed Gregg's widow, Sam, has given him a photo album.
He said: "It's got photos of Gregg and me together inside it. It was really nice of her to have done that and it means a lot."
Kallum has been put through his paces on Withernsea beach by a family friend who served in the Army.
As part of the basic tests, recruits have to complete a mile-and-a-half run, known as the Battle Fitness Test, within a certain time.
"I'm sure Gregg would have been telling me to lose weight and get my time down," said Kallum."
In light of recent Army job cuts, Kallum knows he will have to perform.
"The Army can afford to be a lot more picky about who they take," he said.
"They will only take the ones they believe can become really good soldiers."
Kallum has been told Gregg's platoon sergeant in Afghanistan will be instructing him.
Sergeant Geoffrey Marshall, previously of 6 Platoon, Burma Company, 3 Yorks, was among the soldiers who paid tribute to Gregg last summer.
Kallum said: "I've been told he plans to snap me like as twiglet."
Bob said: "Angie wrote Gregg a letter every single day of his 26-week course and we're planning to do the same for Kallum.
"Of course, we are going to miss having him around the house and it's a very emotional time for us all.
"But he's ready."