A MOTHER and father have revealed their fears for their three sons serving in the armed forces following the tragic death of Private Jason Rawstron.
Phillip, Daniel and Matthew Baldwin, who share a house in Rishton Road, Clayton, are in the Army, RAF and Royal Marines respectively and their father David believes all three could be thrust into the heat of battle in the next few months.
All three are former Hollins Technology College pupils.
Machine gunner Phillip, 24, of the Duke of Lancaster Regiment, is ready to be called up to Afghanistan by the end of the year, while father-to-be Daniel, 22, is set to travel to southern Iraq in three weeks’ time.
Matthew, who turns 21 on Wednesday, recently "passed out" out of the Royal Marines in double quick time and is currently on a driving course at his unit in Taunton.
David, who now lives in Blackburn, said: "We were just thinking of that poor lad who got killed. As a parent you think how do you sleep at night? You just have to put it to the back of your mind.
"In the next few months I could have all three of them in Iraq or Afghanistan. Phillip is quite likely to go to Afghanistan because he’s in Cyprus doing desert training. Daniel is going into a relatively safe area of Iraq to install communications equipment. And with Matthew, being a Royal Marine, we have no idea."
Until around four years ago the family home was in Blackburn Road, Clayton-le-Moors, but David’s ex-wife and the boys’ mum, Shirley, now also lives in the Blackburn area, while the grandparents live in Oswaldtwistle and Great Harwood.
Shirley said: "I’m proud of them but it does get very difficult from a mother’s point of view. I could be the next mother getting the next phone call but I don’t like to think about it.
"It’s just their careers and what they wanted to do. I wouldn’t stand in their way."
David, who works for Blackburn Council, has no military background, although his father did national service, and is amazed that all three of his sons chose a military career.
He said: "They’re all team players. I once asked Phillip how he felt about it and he was saying how much he enjoys getting his camouflage gear on and fighting for real.
"He said: ‘Dad, we’re trained for it.’"