Michelle overwhelmed by support for brave troops

Michelle Cooper pictured with her son, Lee before he shipped out to Afghanistan with the Queen's Royal Hussars. INNT 48-505CON
Michelle Cooper pictured with her son, Lee before he shipped out to Afghanistan with the Queen's Royal Hussars. INNT 48-505CON
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FAMILY and friends of a local lad currently serving with The Queen’s Royal Hussars in Afghanistan helped to pack 125 shoeboxes with essentials and treats on Saturday (November 26) to send out to troops in Helmand Province in time for Christmas.

Nineteen-year-old Lee Cooper from Ballyduff is a few months into his first tour of duty in war-torn Afghanistan with the light cavalry regiment. The former Glengormley High School pupil has served in the British Army since leaving school at the age of 16.

His mum, Michelle Cooper, is currently organising a ‘shoebox appeal’, collecting items to send out to Lee and his comrades to “keep them going” until they return home in May 2012.

“We sent out 125 boxes on Saturday, but we are going to keep collecting items and sending them out until April as sometimes it can take up to a month for them to get there and the regiment will be out there until May,” Michelle told the Times.

“I am overwhelmed with the level of support we have received so far from throughout the whole of Newtownabbey and further afield.

“I am incredibly proud of Lee and I know he has been touched by the support from home. It’s been a difficult time for me as a mum, but I know Lee is doing what makes him happy. I want to personally thank each and every person who has donated items so far. This means so much to me and I know it means a lot to Lee and the lads.”

Items wanted for the shoebox appeal include toiletries (no aerosols), dried foods, sweets, magazines and books.

Collection points for the appeal are Monkstown Resource Centre, David Boyle’s Butchers at Abbots Cross and New Mossley convenience store. Read the full story in this week’s Times...