A BOMBARDIER who saved the lives of 100 colleagues could be in the running for an honour in his hometown.
But modest Aaron Collins, 25, played down his role in coming to the rescue of his fellow troops during an attack by a suicide car bomber who drove into an Army compound.
The astonishing bravery has led to Bombardier Collins being nominated for the Local Hero honour in the Pride of Hartlepool awards.
But Aaron told the Hartlepool Mail: “I am definitely not a hero. At the end of the day, I was just doing my job.”
However, he admitted that winning the trophy would be wonderful - because “it would be good for the rest of the troops”.
Aaron’s bravery came to the fore when he found himself trapped underneath the collapsed rubble with Taliban soldiers shooting at him from just 10 metres away.
He managed to free himself from the debris and fought off the firing Taliban, armed with just a radio and a pistol.
The former High Tunstall College of Science student then managed to call for armoured helicopters and, directed them to the attacking Taliban soldiers.
Aaron has spent time at home on the mend after an operation to rectify problems with the cartilage in his knee. He was due to return to duty this week.
In recognition of his brave life-saving efforts Bombardier Collins of the 4th Regiment Royal Artillery was awarded a Goschen Medal. The citation said it was thanks to his quick-thinking that he played a fundamental role in preventing the patrol base from being overrun by the insurgents.”
Now, he could be in line for another honour in the Pride of Hartlepool competition.
But there is still time for more people to enter the contest.
Ten categories up for grabs are Sporting Achievement; Community Group; Community Champion; Student of the Year; Fundraiser of the Year; Child of Courage; Local Hero; Green Champion; Emergency Services and Young Performer of the Year.
You have until early March to put forward your favourites and we want to make this a record year for entry numbers – but the only way we can do that is with your help.
So come on. Fill in the nomination form in the Hartlepool Mail today, or visit www.hartlepool.mail.co.uk and complete the online entry form.