Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Channing Day's family is humbled by support

Corporal Channing Day

The parents of Corporal Channing Day, who lost her life in a gun battle in Afghanistan, have said they are humbled by the overwhelming support they have received since her death.

Among the many condolences that have flooded in was a letter from Lance Corporal Jack Ritchie, who was saved in 2009 by the brave Army medic after his arm was ripped open by shrapnel.

Channing’s parents Leslie and Rosemary Day said they have received hundreds of letters of condolence since their daughter’s death, including a personal letter from the Prime Minister.

“Words can’t describe how we feel. We’re very humbled and totally blown away by it,” Rosemary told the Newtownards Chronicle.

“Everybody has been absolutely fantastic. You can see the cards — they’re everywhere — the gifts ... money, presents and the food. It’s just unbelievable.

“The respect that was shown for her on Thursday (the funeral) was just amazing,” she added.

Channing (25) of 3 Medical Regiment and Royal Marine Corporal David O'Connor were fatally injured in a gun battle in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province in a suspected insider attack by an off-duty Afghan policeman on October 24.

Leslie said: “All the support I’ve received from my colleagues at work and the Army, all ex-members of my old regiment who came out specially for the funeral and Remembrance Sunday — it was just amazing. I can’t thank them enough.”

He said the signs of Channing’s future military career were there from a very early age.

“I used to stick my beret on her and she used to march around the living room and then she used to plague me, saying ‘show me how to salute’, so I used to show her how to salute and walk behind her,” he said.

Rosemary said her daughter had plans to visit South Africa on a girls’ holiday when she came off tour and she was also looking into buying a house.

“She was always a step ahead. She knew what her plans were going to be when she got back off tour,” she said.

“It’s trying to get through each day, to be honest. Sometimes I find it hard to believe — I still think of her being in Afghanistan but we know she’s not.”

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