Uncle and nephew off to war
A PROUD but concerned Felixstowe woman has bid farewell to her soldier son as he embarks on his first tour of Iraq.Not only has Sarah Mayes seen the departure of 20-year-old Aarron but has also said goodbye to brother Don, who will be serving side by side with his nephew.
A PROUD but concerned Felixstowe woman has bid farewell to her soldier son as he embarks on his first tour of Iraq.
Not only has Sarah Mayes seen the departure of 20-year-old Aarron but has also said goodbye to brother Don, who will be serving side by side with his nephew.
Mrs Mayes, 39, from Philip Avenue, Felixstowe was featured in the Evening Star in 2004 when her brother set out on his first tour of Iraq with the Fusiliers.
Now Aarron is following in his uncle's footsteps and has already spoken with his mum to let her know how he's getting on.
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Mrs Mayes said: “I've spoken to him on the phone since he left and he is fine. He's staying on a US army base where they'll be getting him used to the climate.
“He said he's never drunk so much water in his life. He told me he was in high spirits and I can tell when he's not telling me the truth.”
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Mrs Mayes gets just 30 minutes a week to catch up with her son for the next six months before he returns for his rest and recuperation leave.
He's hoping to get the break brought forward to September so he can enjoy his birthday at home but it won't be soon enough for his worried mum who had to see his uncle off four years ago.
She said: “It's a very different experience as a mother and my own mum has given me so much support.
“To have an uncle and nephew in the same place is so rare. I've taken it a lot worse than Aarron has and I'm the one who has done all the crying.
“He said the reason he was joining was to get away from me but I think it's because of the family connection. He's adamant he will serve his full 22 years.
“My other son, Benjamin looks up to him and has a DVD of Aarron doing his training which he watches every day and my daughter Celine has shown an interest in joining the forces.”
Between her brother, son and father, Mrs Mayes' family has given more than 50 years to the army.
She also does her own bit for the services by working part-time at the Royal British Legion in Felixstowe where everyone has been full of support for her.
She said: “A couple of ex-servicemen have even made up the first two boxes to send out to Aarron. They've put stuff in that they know he can't get over there like deodorant and body wash. I was thrilled but the only problem is that as an army mum I don't get as much information as a wife would about how to get these things to him.”