An RAF flight, bound for Camp Bastion, today left RAF Brize Norton carrying hundreds of postcards from schoolchildren up and down the country to the troops serving out in Afghanistan.
The postcards were sent in as part of a competition for Red, White and Blue Day, a national fundraising campaign set up by the three national Service charities.
The day raises awareness in schools of the issues faced by the many thousands of Service children across the UK.
Evie, aged six, from St Mary & St John C.E.V.A. Primary School in Luffenham, Rutland, said: "I am very excited that my postcard won. I am also glad that my friend Henry, in my class, came second too."
Children were asked to write to someone serving in Afghanistan, and to draw a picture to go with the words, the winning designs were used to create a giant postcard.
Patty Wallis, from ABF The Soldiers' Charity said: "We are delighted that so many children took part – their messages to those serving away from home were both thoughtful and entertaining.
"Teachers had clearly discussed with pupils about the sacrifice the men and women of the armed forces make, and how they miss home and family when they are away."
"The competition also gave the opportunity for schools to think about what it’s like for children who have a parent in the Armed Forces."
The giant card, along with hundreds of other entries, will be presented to the troops on operation Herrick. The winning entries can be seen here http://www.redwhiteblueday.co.uk/postcard-competition.asp.
Sign up now for Red, White and Blue Day 2014, at www.redwhiteblueday.co.uk.