During their tour of Afghanistan in 2008 a few Royal Marines from 40 Commando kept personal diaries of their experiences of Afghanistan, their tour in Helmand Province, their impressions of the war and their feelings towards the civilians they protected and the Taliban they fought against. For the first time these diaries have been collected together to form a gripping account of what life is really like on the front-line in modern warfare. With entries from a range of soldiers, including the recollections and diaries of Lieutenant John Thornton, who was tragically killed a few weeks before the end of his tour, as well as a Padre, Commanding Officer and a Royal Marine Commando, Helmand is a timely glimpse at life for our armed forces in Afghanistan. As the deadline approaches for the removal of British troops from active service in Afghanistan, John Thornton's brother Ian found himself also deployed to Helmand. His words reveal how Afghanistan has changed in the last few years – and how despite the best efforts and sacrifices made by so many young men and women, some things remain exactly the same.