A brave former soldier has swapped the battlefields of Afghanistan for a classroom in west Leeds.
Dan Majid almost lost an arm after surviving of a terrorist bomb blast in the notorious Nahr-e-Saraj-south area of Helmand less than two years ago.
But now the 28-year-old has gained a place on a graduate teacher programme and is teaching geography at Leeds West Academy.
After his first day of teaching yesterday, Dan told the YEP: “When the alarm went off at 7am, I had this massive rush of nerves.
“I haven’t been in a school environment for so long and haven’t interacted with kids in a while.
“I am used to a military environment which has high discipline but here it is more of an office environment.”
A few years ago, Dan was teaching at the school as a PE supply teacher but was forced to give up the subject due to the injuries sustained in Afghanistan.
Dan, who lives in Kirkstall, shattered his right humerus bone and severed a nerve during the blast, which happened as he was sweeping the area with a detector to find improvised explosive devices.
It left his right arm 4cm shorter than his left and he has since undergone four operations and has two metal plates and part of his hipbone inserted into his arm.
Dan, a reservist soldier with the Parachute Regiment at the time, said: “Throughout this whole experience I have been determined not to let the incident change my life too much.
“I have been telling the kids about my experiences and with me teaching geography they can learn about places like Afghanistan from someone who has been there, which makes it more real and hopefully more interesting.”
He added: “If they wanted to join the army I would say finish your education before becoming an officer.
“I would not discourage them but want them to get an education of a high standard.
“I am evidence of the fact that the army can’t be and isn’t always for ever.”
Dan is keen to keep challenging himself physically and plans to do a skydiving course and either a marathon or a half ironman challenge next year.