RAF Brize Norton delivers children's Christmas greeting to troops in Afghanistan

Witney Gazette: Soffie Rigby and Wing Commander Stuart Lindsell with the giant postcard in front of the C-17 which carried the cards to Afghanistan Soffie Rigby and Wing Commander Stuart Lindsell with the giant postcard in front of the C-17 which carried the cards to Afghanistan

RAF Brize Norton has helped to deliver hundreds of postcards written by schoolchildren to troops serving in Afghanistan.

The Christmas greetings were loaded on to a flight from Brize Norton bound for the main British forces base at Camp Bastion on Wednesday last week.

The postcards were sent in as part of a competition organised in conjunction with Red, White and Blue Day, a national fundraising campaign set up by the three national forces charities to raise awareness of what life is like for children in military families.

The best postcard designs were incorporated into a giant postcard sent to Camp Bastion, which will reach servicemen and women on operational tours at bases in Afghanistan in time for Christmas.

Soffie Rigby, 10, a pupil at Rendcomb Junior School, near Cirencester, who created the winning design in the category for children aged seven to 10, visited RAF Brize Norton to meet 99 Sqaudron’s commanding officer Wing Commander Stuart Lindell and see the postcards safely loaded on to one of the unit’s Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport planes for the flight to the Central Asian state.

Children were asked simply to write to someone serving in Afghanistan, and to draw a picture to go with the words.

Patty Wallis, from ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, said: “We were delighted that so many children took part – their messages to those serving away from home were thoughtful and entertaining.

“Teachers had clearly discussed with pupils about the sacrifice the men and women of the armed forces make, and how they miss home and family when they are away.”

On arrival at Camp Bastion, the giant card, along with hundreds of other entries, was displayed in the cookhouse at Camp Bastion for personnel to see when they call in for meals.

The winning card designs can be seen online at redwhiteblueday.co.uk/postcard-competition.asp

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