That’s my girl!’ - baby joy for Sutton soldier

AN RAF gunner from Sutton has spoken of the ‘amazing’ moment he met his baby daughter for the first time following his second tour in Afghanistan.

Liam Greaves (21), a gunner for the Royal Air Force Regiment, set eyes on nine-week-old Lily Grace for the first time last week.

Lily’s mum Stacey had made a surprise visit to Liam’s base in Suffolk following his return from the war-torn country.

Speaking at the couple’s home on Hedgerow Close on Friday, Liam said the meeting was an emotional experience.

“I wasn’t expecting to see them,” he said. “We only had five minutes together but it was amazing. She is absolutely beautiful.

“I’d seen photos of her but it’s not the same thing.”

The chance to hold Lily in his arms was a long time coming for Liam, who was sent out to Afghanistan for the second time in November.

He said it was especially heart-breaking to have to leave Stacey knowing she was pregnant.

“It was hard but it is my job,” he said. “There are plenty of other families which have to go through the same sort of thing and it’s something you have to accept might happen.”

Now Liam is looking forward to the challenges of parenthood and spending quality time with Lily.

“I want to do it all, I’m really looking forward to spending time with Lily and Stacey,” he said.

Twenty-year-old Stacey said she found it hard when Liam went away to work, but it was something the family had to accept.

“I just have to get on with it. My mum and Liam’s mum have been very helpful.

“I’m just glad they have had the chance to meet and that we can spend some time as a family. She is amazing.”