Pat Graham from Bourne restarts his parcels for the troops appeal

Pat Graham, from Bourne, with some of the items he has collected for his parcels for the troops campaign. 'Photo: MSMP041213-008ow ENGEMN00120130412153102
Pat Graham, from Bourne, with some of the items he has collected for his parcels for the troops campaign. 'Photo: MSMP041213-008ow ENGEMN00120130412153102
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A Bourne man has relaunched his appeal to collect parcels for troops after those serving in Afghanistan were redeployed to Iraq.

Pat Graham, of Rowan Way, began collecting items to send to the armed forces in the Middle East three years ago.

His initial focus was Afghanistan, and thanks to the generous support of the people of Bourne he was able to send more than 900 to the troops stationed in the war-torn country.

Pat thought he had made his last trip to the Post Office in October when the last British forces left Afghanistan. But he decided to restart his appeal when he learned that the same troops would be sent out to Iraq.

Pat, who used to work in the RAF for air crew survival, has asked for things to eat, for personal hygiene, and anything the troops can use for recreation, such as board games.

He is an army lover at heart and has always wanted to help the soldiers on the ground. He set up his very own wrapping centre in his garage, where he gets plenty of help to wrap up all the parcels.

Pat also has a collection box in health shop, Spice for Life in Bourne, where he has received plenty of donations from the local community.

He was honoured for his efforts at a ceremony at Chetwynd Barracks near Nottingham on Friday last week. Pat was first told of the occasion after receiving a letter from Warrant Officer Rothwell in Afghanistan, inviting him and his wife Cynthia for a day of army entertainment along with food and drink, transport to and from the barracks and free accommodation over night.

The invitation was later confirmed by an official invite from Major Iswariah at the Chetwynd Barracks.

Items can be dropped in a collection box at Spice of Life in the Burghley Centre, or at Pat’s home address, 8 Rowan Way.

Only a small number of British soldiers remain in Afghanistan to continue the training of the Afghan National Army and police.