Page last updated at 08:30 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 09:30 UK

Guide dog changes soldier's life

Craig Lundberg and Hugo
Craig Lundberg was hit by two propelled grenades in Basra

A soldier from Liverpool, blinded while fighting in Iraq, has said that his new guide dog has dramatically improved his life.

Craig Lundberg, 23, described Hugo, his two-year-old Labrador retriever, as a "great companion".

The former lance corporal lost his sight in March 2007, after fending off attackers who struck his base in Basra.

Following weeks of training, the pair now live together in Walton, near the city centre.

Mr Lundberg, who has received a bravery award for his war efforts, said: "I know that Hugo is going to be a big part of my life and I am really pleased about that.

"I also get around much quicker, going naturally around obstacles."

'Inspirational example'

Mr Lundberg joined the Army in 2002 and served two tours of Iraq with the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

He became a lance corporal and qualified as a sniper before the attack in Basra two years ago.

He said: "Two rocket-propelled grenades ripped into me. I nearly lost my left arm. It was broken in two places.

"My face was shredded, and my cheek was fractured. I lost my left eye and my right eye has so much shrapnel in it that I can't see.

"But I just got up and tried to carry on the fight. I think that's why I got a bravery award - I was mentioned in military dispatches."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "We are humbled by the inspirational example that Craig Lundberg has set through his tireless charity work.

"We know he is still in touch with his old platoon and regularly invites them to his fundraising events."

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