Mother fears soldier son won’t get Christmas meal

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A MOTHER has spoken out over fears her son who is serving in Afghanistan will miss out on the Christmas lunch given to other soldiers.

Val Hindson, 56, of Malvern Way, raised the issue with MP Amber Rudd who questioned the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Nick Harvey, in the House of Commons on Monday.

Mrs Hindson’s son Lance Corporal Joel Hindson, 22, has been in Afghanistan serving the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment since September, on a six-month tour.

Mrs Hindson is worried Joel will not receive Christmas lunch as he is in a remote patrol base and not the central Camp Bastion.

Before she raised her question, Ms Rudd said: “I want to press the Secretary of State to ensure that all our brave men and women serving abroad get some festive cheer this year.”

During the debate Mr Harvey assured that people serving in Afghanistan will receive Christmas provisions.

He said: “In most cases there is a chef on site and proper catering facilities to ensure a Christmas lunch.

“That will not be possible for a small number of people in very remote locations, but even in those cases, special Christmas provision is being made.”

Mrs Hindson has said she will have to wait to see if her son receives his lunch but sends Joel a parcel herself each week, mainly food to add to his rations.

She said: “Soldiers aren’t just for Christmas, they need feeding well all the time.

“The image of the army base portrayed on the television is quite false, the lads are really fighting and being shot at and it’s quite scary for us at home.”

Joel went to school at Northiam Frewen College before joining Harrogate Army Foundation College at 16.

His proud mum said he always wanted to join the Army and he has served in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan.

She said: “When he was four he told me when he grew up he was going to be a solider.

“He used to climb trees with his friends and pretend to sniper people.”

When Joel left for Germany at 17, his father Rod, 61, died of a sudden heart condition.

Mrs Hindson said: “Joel’s dad would be very proud of him, Joel wants to be the man his dad wanted him to be.”

Joel has four sisters and one brother, and his girlfriend is an air hostess in Portsmouth.

Mrs Hindson said: “Joel says he is living his dream, rather than getting to 40 and never knowing what his dream was.

“He wanted to be a fighter, he joined the Army to be an infantry solider not to sit behind a desk.”

Ms Rudd has written to the county council on Mrs Hindson’s behalf requesting to have a soldiers’ homecoming parade in Hastings but hasn’t yet had a reply.

Mrs Hindson said: “The last marches were in Canterbury and Brighton which is a good hour each way.

“It would be good for the Hastings economy to have a march here.”