hello dear arrsers and friends, it has been some time since I posted here, so please forgive me. I have no excuses other than I try my best to heal a broken hearted family, to try to comfort them all. This will be a very sad Christmas for us as it will be our first without our braveheart Daniel sat here with us. I would value your support and prayers at this so difficult a time. My thoughts as always are not just with my own family but with the wide wide family of our beavehearted servicemen and women and their families too, as so many like us have lost either a loved one or had someone badly injured in mind or body. As a family we also think of those currently out there in Iraq and Afghanistan at Christmas and I have written a letter to them personally which is very much from my heart and I humbly request the privilege to write it here, as I dont know if it will be printed in the national newspapers for all to see. As far as a reply from Pm Gordon Brown went, his reply was most unenlightening, so my drive to gain more support ofr our lads and lassies will continue unabated. May I wish for all of you, every arrser and family a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and I pray that the new year will bring a change of heart in many areas from this current Government toward our most valuable of assets our troops. Below is my letter and I give my heartfelt thanks and support to all of our troops where ever they may be. A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO OUR TROOPS FROM David Godfrey Grandad of Daniel Lee Coffey Killed in action At Basra, Iraq 27th February 2007 Monday, 17 December 2007 Dear comrades of Daniel and fellow servicemen and women. In any family home Christmas is a time of giving, and receiving of presents given in love, it is a time for being together as a family to share and be a part in that families love and happiness. For many today that time will not be possible, because of great distances and countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan you cannot be a part of such a family gathering. As a family we think of those families who like us have either lost a loved one, or who has a son or daughter, mum or dad, husband or wife brought home to the United Kingdom seriously injured. Each one has been joined together as though they are part of our own family and we extend our love to every single one. We too think of all of our brave hearts currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan this Christmas time, for we know that you are in a place where you would rather not be, but your duty and your courage and beliefs prevent you from being with your own loved ones and for this great courage we salute you. You carry a heavy weight on your shoulders but your strength of character carries that weight as though it were a feather because you, our servicemen and women have got, like Daniel had, a heart that cares, a heart that beats for humanity in all our guises and creeds. We think of you as you carry out that duty, which is also a duty of care because we know in our hearts that that is what you do, what you have been trained to do, and it is that duty that makes you what you are, be it soldier, sailor or airmen, you are an elite, a force for good, for good always triumphs over evil. Many times how you must have thought, What do the folks back home think? Are they really supporting us? Does anybody really care? I would like to put your mind at rest on those questions that trouble you, and I know they do trouble you, greatly, because I have asked those very same questions of myself, many times over. What I can say to you today though, as together we as a united family will struggle to live through this first Christmas without Daniel being with us is this, You should have been in my home town of Cullompton and seen the care and respect shown for Daniel on the day he was lain to rest There the world saw the respect and love of a community who came out in their hundreds to mourn the passing of this hero of Cullompton and the Rifles Regiment. Know this dear friends, that the people of this country truly do care in their hearts for you, they like I and my family, feel your pain and sorrows, and they want you to know that very deeply. There is an old saying that you may not know which goes, Give a little, and gain a lot How daily we see all of you give so much yet you seem to gain so little in return for the sacrifices you make. You will no doubt have been on the receiving end of the true British feelings as you have begun to receive the parcels and packets sent out there to you all by many people from around this country. From rich and poor, military and non military families, friends and neighbours alike have chosen this special way to show you their love. All those who have donated have given a little but how much we, the British people have gained in return, the love we feel that flows from your hearts fills us with pride. I am so proud and pleased that my fellow countrymen and women have responded so valiantly in their support for you this Christmastime, and I know to a man that they would, like me, want to say to you, a very merry Christmas, be safe and be happy A new year is all but around the corner and with it comes our hope that for you it will be a new beginning of the end of this conflict you face, one in which you have held fast to your strengths and beliefs and for that as a man we are proud of you all. Take heart comrades of Daniel, that the great British public are behind you, and many voices are speaking out for you daily in the ears of government for change, a change for the better, for better conditions and equipment, and for a safe and speedy return to these welcoming shores. May the God of love bless you and keep you safe in his hands always. David Godfrey Grandad of Daniel Lee Coffey killed in Basra protecting his comrades. 27th February 2007 WE WILL NEVER FORGET HIS AND YOUR COURAGE AND LOYALTY TO THIS COUNTRY.