I was born into the streets of West Belfast - Andersonstown Road, mid-eighties. One of five brothers with a little sister. Son of a working class mechanic. Mother kept the house. My life took me on a journey in which I would do the unthinkable - join the British Army. This is my story. From Belfast to basic training and beyond... The Belfast Boy: Contact IED! The story of Colum F McGeown's life, right up until he lost his legs in Afghanistan on Herrick 13. From working class boy to refined Guardsman in the British Army, these are his experiences from West Belfast and his psychological state, to rehab after his injury. At the age of 16, Colum was excluded from his family home, never to return. He had done the unthinkable for a Roman Catholic in working class West Belfast and joined the British Army. This book follows his thoughts and experiences as he moved from place to place, sleeping rough, determined to find his own space, identity, purpose...Colum's life brought him to the Salvation Army, where he did find salvation and a place to launch himself and his life in a new direction. He found a friend in Victor, whose encouragement helped him to pursue a career in the British Army with vigour, resolve, conviction...There was conflict before even stepping on the battlefield, where he encountered people who would have a profound effect on his military career, and the man he was to become. The Belfast Boy is an ideal read for anyone interested in one man's unique, personal journey to find something he could call his own.