A TWELVE -year-old girl has reached out to the families of those who go to war through a poem written for her brother.

Millie Pearce-Crawford, of Pantygasseg, Pontypool, wrote the poem for school music project where she was asked to write a piece that meant something to her.

The year eight pupil at Abersychan comprehensive also had to turn it into a song and put a backing track to it.

The poem ‘My Brother, The Soldier’ highlights the sadness of when a family member goes to war.

In the poem Millie writes about her feelings when her brother Ashley Pearce-Crawford, 23, who is an IED specialist with the Royal Engineers, 32 Regt, Herrick 19, left to go to Afghanistan in September.

Millie said that the poem is based on what she felt and misses her brother.

Ashley, 23, who is currently on a nine month tour of Afghanistan, joined the forces straight from school aged 16, and has already completed a five month tour of Afghanistan.

The former Argus delivery boy is currently on the front line as part of the ‘search and find’ IED (Improvised Explosive Device) team on foot where he looks for road side bombs.

His mother Claire Pearce-Crawford, 40, a social landlord at Melin Homes, Torfaen, said: “It is a lovely poem.

“For me it just sends out that message that although our boys are at war let's not forget that they leave their families behind.

“When Millie bought the poem home from school I thought it was so heartfelt and clever the way that she was able to put her words in to something that other people who have brothers and sisters away in the forces can relate to.

“I think for her writing comes naturally.”

Although Ashley came home at Christmas this is his longest tour yet.

Mrs Pearce-Crawford hopes that families in the same position may be helped by the poem.

“If it helps even one person then that is great,” she continued.

“The way we cope is by talking all of the time- we FaceTime; iMessage, the lot.

“I would encourage all military families to talk as much as they can even about the small things-the every day things.”

The mother of four added: “Ashley was always very physical and always wanted to be in the forces.

“He is doing exceptionally well and he loves his job I think that helps.

“Sometimes we concentrate in all the bad things but we need to concentrate on the positives.

“But it is hard but I know that I am not alone in these feelings.”

The family will meet Ashley off the plane when he returns to Brize Norton RAF base in Oxfordshire in June.

PANEL: The Poem

My Brother, The Soldier

He walks in with his bags,

To say his goodbyes.

Oh, it’s such a struggle,

not to cry.

Last time I coped,

but this time I fear.

I need my brother,

To stay here.

But he has no choice,

And neither do i.

For there’s a war going on,

And it won’t just fly by.

It seems so many months,

Until he’ll be home.

Without him somehow,

I’ll feel alone.

He says bye to my sister,

And tells her to be good.

He gave her a hug,

And she understood.

He then turns to me,

With a special smile.

One that I,

hadn’t seen in a while.

He says the same to me,

And hugs me too.

That’s it now,

The tears are through.

He says bye to my mum,

He says bye to my dad.

He hide’s well,

how he feels sad.

We’ve got to stay strong,

As he walks out the door.

I need to cry,

I can’t hold it anymore.

I sneak into the kitchen,

And sit on the floor.

With a friend by my side,

Because that’s what their for.

I don’t want him to go,

It just won’t feel right.

But he is a soldier,

He was born to fight.