‘We just hope no one else has to suffer loss’

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The family of a local soldier who was killed whilst serving in Afghanistan with The Royal Irish Regiment have said they are glad that British combat has ended in the country.

22-year-old Macosquin solder Aaron McCormick, serving as part of Combined Force Nad ‘Ali, was killed in Helmand, southern Afghanistan, on Sunday, November 14, 2010.

Ranger McCormick, a former Coleraine Inst pupil, had been helping to clear an area of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during a security patrol in Nad ‘Ali when he was killed in an explosion.

Speaking exclusively to The Times on Monday, Maggie, Aaron’s mother said: “I am really happy that our boys are home, but I really just hope that no other family will have to go through what we are going through.

“There were 453 British soldiers killed during the 13-year war, I am sure each of these families are feeling like we are today.

“We will never get Aaron back.

“I gave the army my son, for families like us it will never be over.”

Maggie said that they had no idea that the Government would be making the announcement about the end of the conflict at the weekend, as the last base was handed over to Afghan Security Forces.

“We knew nothing until we turned on the television, then it just hit us all like a brick.

“It brings everything back, and I know that other families will be feeling the same way - and asking themselves what was it all for.”

Four years have passed since Aaron’s death, but Maggie says that it doesn’t get any easier.

“People look at me when I am out and about and I know that they are thinking about Aaron, so I don’t mind, but I just wish there was more support here for families like us.

“There are so many support networks in England, but very little here, and I know that I am not the only one to say that.

“I just feel that if local families had the chance to get together then we would be able to support each other through hard times.”