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Mum of young soldier killed in Afghanistan talks of Poppy Day tears
THE mother of a young soldier killed in Afghanistan has said the Poppy Appeal means her son will never be forgotten.
Her son, Jason Mackie, inset below, of 3rd Armoured Support Group Royal Marines, died when his vehicle struck an explosive device in 2009.
The Bampton 21-year-old’s mother Lee Mackie last night urged people to buy a poppy and remember fallen soldiers on Remembrance Sunday.
She said: “For any parent who loses a child it is the most devastating thing ever.
“But I think one thing about Remembrance Day is you know they will be forever remembered, that their contribution will be recognised.
“Not all parents have that privilege or opportunity to come together and be with other people and remember them.
“It (Remembrance Sunday) is an event that has great relevance, and good on people who do go out and give support and put their penny in the bucket.”
Ms Mackie, of Moonraker Lane in Bampton, came up with the idea of a memorial bell to toll to mark repatriation ceremonies in Carterton.
This month, Ms Mackie is to be joined on Remembrance Day by some of the soldiers her son served with.
She said: “I am lucky as I have Jason’s friends from Armoured Support Group who will come and hold my hand.
“They have done that for the last five years which has meant a lot of support for me.
“I might have lost my son but I have gained a lot of surrogate sons who are always there to support me which is great.”
But Ms Mackie said the Remembrance period did not make things easier for her, adding: “It is always hard. I don’t think there is any statute of limitations with mourning.
“I have actually found it harder in the last two years than in the first three.
I suppose I was in denial.”
“Every year it is a time to gather thoughts and take stock of what has happened in the past year and remember all the families who have gone through what they have in the past year and remember past heroes.
“It is a time for people to get together and show their appreciation for what our Armed Forces do and what they have sacrificed for us.”
Ms Mackie said the poppy was a “strong symbol”, adding: “You can not look at a poppy without remembering the battlefields in Europe, without linking it to the British Legion who do an awesome job supporting families and our veterans.”