CAPTAIN Gerry Casey is spending his first Christmas apart from his wife and family.
The Rosses Point resident is Press Officer for the 107th UNIFIL Battalion in the Lebanon.
Capt. Casey said: "This is the first Christmas we will not spend together. I will miss them."
He has extended Christmas and New Year wishes to his wife, Theresa; son, Sean (12) and daughters, Emma, (10) Louise (8) and Rachel (5).
Capt. Casey said: "I will see them soon."
He is on his 8th tour of duty on UN peacekeeping missions.
Capt. Casey served three times previously in the Lebanon-in 1991/ 92, 1992/ 93 and in 2001.
He was Staff Officer in Civil Military relations in Bosnia in 2004/ 2005.
He was Military Observer in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria from 2008 to 2009 with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation.
Capt. Casey confirmed that while operational and patrolling duties would continue there would be time for plenty of calls 'home' to Sligo.
He said: "Our duty remains, but there will be the opportunity to talk to loved ones."