Soldier thanks SOS givers
Published at 11:52, Friday, 19 October 2012
A MARYPORT soldier has spoken of his pride in his family for their efforts to support servicemen and women in Afghanistan.
Daniel Winthrop, 19, of Sandy Lonning, is on leave for three weeks after serving in the country, primarily as a chef, for nearly four months.
His father Ryan, 43, and grandfather Frank, 62, are both involved in sending out boxes of presents to soldiers through the charity Support Our Soldiers.
Daniel, who serves in 4 Logistic Support Regiment, said: “I would like to say a ‘thank you’ from a very proud son and grandson for what they do all year round.”
Ryan, also of Sandy Lonning, is the Cumbria area co-ordinator for Support Our Soldiers and is involved in sending out nearly 100 shoeboxes of gifts a month to soldiers.
His dad, Frank, often steps in to help when Ryan is unavailable.
Daniel, who went to Ewanrigg Junior School and Netherhall School, said the efforts of his dad and granddad and the people of Cumbria who donate gifts are appreciated by the soldiers.
He said: “They love it. At Christmas lots of soldiers will normally get presents from families but stuff like tinsel from the shoeboxes they really like. It brightens up the place.”
Ryan added: “It’s just about morale. Just because they are thousands of miles away doesn’t mean they don’t deserve any fun.”
Daniel said that the only thing that worried him about going to Afghanistan was getting sunburnt and when out that still turned out to be his primary concern.
He added that he appreciated it when his dad sent him some smoked sausages to cook as making meals from ration packs for 30 to 40 soldiers was hard work and everything tended to taste the same.
Daniel came back from Afghanistan last month but continued to work at the barracks in Dalton, near Oxford, until last Friday.
His mum Susan was given a surprise when Daniel went with his dad to pick her up from work on Friday, as she wasn’t expecting him back until later that night.
They threw Daniel a party on Saturday with his family and friends welcoming him back.
Ryan plans to keep Daniel busy during his three weeks off with visits to schools and businesses in West Cumbria to talk about his experiences and help pack shoeboxes to be sent to Afghanistan.
The next time Daniel could be sent back out to Afghanistan is 2014.
Ryan is aiming to put together between 300 and 350 Christmas shoeboxes this year.
The deadline for donations is November 9 and items can be taken to any Wilkinsons or Co-operative Funeral Care branch.
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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