BRING OUR TROOPS HOME

Margaret and Lesley McCormick 26 April 2011
Margaret and Lesley McCormick 26 April 2011

The mother of a brave young Coleraine soldier killed on duty in Afghanistan has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to bring the troops home.

Ranger Aaron McCormick (22) was attempting to defuse an improvised explosive device in the Helmand area when it exploded, killing him on Remembrance Sunday two years ago.

Speaking on the eve of the second anniversary of her son’s death, Margaret McCormick said that enough blood had been spilt in the conflict and “enough is enough”.

“I would like the troops to come home to spare any families from going through what we have gone through.

“No family should have to suffer what we have. It’s time to put a stop to it. Enough is enough.”

Margaret’s impassioned plea came after a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform shot and killed a British soldier in Afghanistan on Sunday.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that the insider attack had claimed the life of a soldier from the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Margaret added: “We have lost to many young men and women over there. It’s week, by week, by week and on Sunday there was another soldier who lost his life. How many more do we have to lose before it’s enough?”

She said that her family missed Aaron every day.

“It’s two years now since we lost Aaron and it doesn’t get any easier. The reports on the TV from Afghanistan bring it all back and we feel for all the families who lose their sons or daughters.

“Aaron is in our thoughts 24 hours a day. His death affected everyone in our family circle, his brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, friends.

“And our thoughts are constantly with the boys and girls over there serving their country.”

The McCormick family attended Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade in Coleraine where Aaron’s dad Lesley laid a wreath at the war memorial in the town centre.

Margaret revealed: “We spent the day as a family. There were 22 of us in the Diamond on Sunday and we then went to Macosquin to Aaron’s grave. It was very much as extended family get together.”

She called on people to send shoeboxes of gifts to the troops in Afghanistan and revealed that her family continue to raise funds for the Royal Irish Regiment.

“If every family in Northern Ireland could just contribute a shoebox of items and send them to Afghanistan it would mean so much to all the men and women out there.”