STEVE Hopper, a vehicle technician at Co-operative Group-owned Priory BMW in Wallsend, switched the garage for the battlefield to help his country fight the war in Iraq. Seven months on he's glad to be back fixing cars.
Steve (pictured) has been in the Territorial Army for 14 years and was called up within two months of war breaking out. He recalls: "Because of my background I was recruited to run a workshop in the port of Alzubair, repairing cars and tanks.
"It was a very different life to the one I'm used to and I spent my days working and nights sleeping as there was nothing else to do. I missed my family and friends at BMW so it's great to be back."
Sales manager, Jonathan Inman, added: "Steve is an important member of the aftersales team and he got a real hero's welcome when he came back to work. We're happy to see he's safe and sound and back on British soil ? even if his war stories are getting a little old!"