Halifax woman’s message to soldier fiance about to go to Afghanistan: ‘Get home safe then marry me’

Private Michael Milner
Private Michael Milner

THE deaths of the six troops will make it even harder for Zoe White to say goodbye to her soldier fiance next month.

The 20-year-old from Illingworth, Halifax, will watch partner Michael Milner – who is with the same battalion as five of the tragic servicemen – set off for duty in Afghanistan in just a few weeks.

The pair have been together five years and plan to marry when he is back.

“I felt sick when I heard about the soldiers’ deaths,” said Zoe.

“I’m terrified about Michael going but I’m very proud of him and just want him come back safe.”

Private Milner, 21, a former Calder High School student, met Zoe while living in the same street.

He had wanted to be in the army for as long as the pair have been dating.

“He was going to join when we first met but I said ‘Please don’t’,” she said.

He waited but was determined to serve his country and enlisted in November 2010, joining the 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment.

After training at Catterick, he was sent to the regiment’s base at Warminster in Wiltshire.

Zoe said when she spoke to him after news of the explosion that killed five soldiers from his battalion and one from the 1st Battalion, Lancaster Regiment, he was upset.

He will be out there for six months, with a two-week trip home at some point. “It’s his job,” she said, “He is always telling me not to worry but you don’t know what’s going to happen out there,” said Zoe.

The pair have been engaged for two years and have been unable to plan their wedding because of Private Milner’s unpredictable schedule.

Zoe’s 17-year-old sister, Amber, is also in the army, currently training at Harrogate Army Foundation College.