Troops stay well stocked thanks to Sam
SOME people really do go above and beyond the call of duty and Sam Eedle is one such person.
The 55-year-old served in the Territorial Army in the 1980s, but is still doing more than his fair share to help the British armed forces now.
In fact he's just filled his 1,000th shoe box full of toiletries, sweets and games for our soldiers in Afghanistan.
He began the voluntary work in 2007 and, largely thanks to the help of members of his Tewkesbury church, has kept hundreds of troops well stocked with extras ever since.
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The regiments to have benefited are the Mercian, Rifles, Yorkshire and London ones.
The congregation of Holy Trinity Church has donated huge amounts of items for him and he said he was very grateful to everyone who had contributed to the project.
"I've always been amazed by how supportive the people of Tewkesbury are towards the services," he said.
Grateful soldiers often write back to Sam, who lives in Brookside, Mitton.
One said recently: "Thank you very much for the parcel. All the things we receive always get shared out among the platoon and are always gratefully received.
"Sundays are our ration day so any food we've been sent makes a change to our rat-packs."
Sam said other people trying to keep the soldiers' spirits high included children at Tewkesbury CofE Primary school, who made Christmas cards to go in the boxes last month.
Other members of the community, such as the Royal British Legion, have helped Sam keep the presents flowing.
He added: "I only thought it was going to last six months, but I hope to continue it for as long as the troops are out there.
"I'm rather embarrassed about the attention. It's not about me, it's about them."
Holy Trinity's vicar, the Reverend Stephen Walker, used to be an Army chaplain and said Sam's efforts had been "fantastic."
Town crier Mike Kean-Price, whose son Barney received four boxes while serving in Afghanistan, said: "What he's done is unbelievable."