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Last Updated: Tuesday July 10 2007 18:50 GMT

Families wait for troops' return

Lizo with some of the British troops in Iraq. Picture by Cpl Wayne Beeching/Crown copyright

Newsround's Lizo travelled to Iraq to find out what life is really like out there, four years after the US-led invasion of the country.

It's easy to think that what's happening in Iraq doesn't really affect people in the UK. But that's not true, as I found out when I visited the military base in Iraq's second biggest city, Basra.

There are several thousand British troops there in the Army, Navy and Air Force and almost all of them have got family back in the UK.

The situation in Iraq at the moment means that the troops' families are always worrying about whether they're ok or not.

To help with this they can make weekly phone calls back to the UK, and there are also internet stations so they can send lots of emails and keep in touch that way.

Even so, some of the troops are in Iraq for months on end and don't see their families for ages.

Billy, a Captain in 1 Royal Horse Artillery
Captain Billy said he was missing his kids, Amy and Fraser

I spoke to Billy, a Captain in 1st Royal Horse Artillery who told me how much he was missing his kids, Amy and Fraser.

He said the worst part was not being around for birthdays and things like that. And that being away over the summer meant he didn't get to go to things like their sports days and end of term prize-giving.

When I got back to the UK, I went to see Amy and Fraser at their school.

Coming home

They told me how proud they were of their dad. But also how worried they were about him sometimes.

Thomas who's in the 1st Battalion Irish Guards
Thomas speaks to his younger brothers in Northern Ireland as much as possible

They said it was difficult when they heard about people being injured in Iraq and said they kept hoping that their dad and the soldiers he was with were ok.

But the thing they were looking forward to the most was him coming home. Amy said she couldn't wait to give him a huge hug.

Out in Iraq, I also met Thomas who's in the 1st Battalion Irish Guards.

He really missed his younger brothers but said he tried to speak to them on the phone as often as possible.

His brother Dillon lives in Belfast, in Northern Ireland, and is so proud of his brother that when he's old enough he wants to join the Army and do what his brother's doing.

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