SUPPORTING servicemen in Afghanistan has earned one youngster a personal message of thanks from the front line.
Eight-year-old Lewis Oliver has received a letter from Sgt Neil Hunter in response to a Christmas parcel filled with goodies he sent out to the war-torn county in October.
Both Lewis and older brother Kieron, 10, from Leverstock Green, each sent a shoebox filled with sweets, tea, coffee, and other luxury items out to serving soldiers as part of an annual charity effort.
In his letter to Lewis, Sgt Hunter said: “I am writing on behalf of my lads to thank you very much for your very kind letter and also the parcel you sent.
“It makes Christmas over here just a little more special when we receive gifts from people like you. Your mum and dad must be so very proud of you.”
Since receiving the letter Lewis has taken it to school, shown his friends, and even let dad Tony, a PE officer at the Mount Prison in Bovingdon, take it to work.
The drive to send boxes out to serving soldiers was organised by senior officer Jo Bartlett at the prison where close to 100 shoe boxes filled with items were sent out to serving soldiers.
Lewis said: “My friends were quite surprised I’d got a letter back.
“I’d heard a lot in the papers about the soldiers in Afghanistan, and I knew that they wouldn’t be able to get a lot of the items we sent out over there.
“He seems like a really nice guy and he has a pretty impressive moustache.
“I’m proud of what our soldiers are doing and I want to send some boxes this year.
“If I send a letter back to Sgt Hunter I might put a picture of us in or some little presents.”
Kieron was a little disappointed that he hadn’t received a letter too, but said he was happy that someone had received his box.
Dad Tony said: “Sgt Hunter is obviously a very selfless person. He asked all about Lewis and said nothing of his own hardship despite not seeing his own family for six months.”