Mothers set up charity to help servicemen's families

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The Independent Online

The mothers of seven soldiers killed in Afghanistan have launched a charity to support fallen servicemen's extended families.

Afghan Heroes provides a network for parents and siblings who are not afforded the same immediate Ministry of Defence aftercare as wives. One of the mothers, Denise Harris, whose son Corporal Lee Scott, 26, was killed in an explosion, told how she felt her heart was "ripped out" when she got the call.

Mrs Harris, 46, wants to help cushion the blow for others by setting up branches across the country. She was joined at the launch in Bristol yesterday by Lucy Aldridge, from Herefordshire, Sharon Backhouse, from Yorkshire, Carol Brackpool, from West Sussex, Deborah Simpson, from Croydon, Jillian Murphy, from Birmingham and Jane Whitehouse, from Walsall. All clutched photographs of their fallen sons and announced they were "now a family" united in grief.

The charity also aims to raise enough money to send out 9,000 parcels of provisions to the troops.