A group of 120 soldiers who recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan have said a huge thank you to bosses of the UK’s largest online freight exchange.
For the Transport Exchange Group donated several hundred of T-shirts for the mission, all embroidered with both the Logistics Regiment motto and that of Haulage Exchange, part of the Transport Exchange Group.
Captain Mark Thompson, Second in Command of 4 Close Support Squadron, based at Dalton Barracks in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, paid tribute to kind-hearted staff at the Haulage Exchange.
Capt Thompson said he had written to a number of large haulage companies nationwide asking their help in sponsoring the soldiers. In his letter he said any sponsorship would help lift morale among the young men and women while they were away from their family and friends for the six-month tour of duty.
Capt Thompson said not only was Haulage Exchange the only company to agree to help, it was the only company which even replied to his letter.
He said: "We are so grateful to Haulage Exchange for their kind-heartedness. About 120 of our men and women were deployed, all aged 18 to 42. It’s hard for them being away from their families for so long and in such difficult circumstances.
"We were in the Helmand Province delivering vital supplies and as part of that we were in the desert where our convoys were often faced with Taleban ambushes, improvised explosive devices and mortar attacks. We were very lucky in that we only had one casualty who was flown back to Selly Oak Hospital and who is now on the mend.
"It really is tough out there for our men and women but a donation such as this from Haulage Exchange can mean such a lot to them. Without this donation our troops would have had to have forked out for the T-shirts themselves. The T-shirts were a high quality material which included our logo and the logo of the Haulage Exchange. But it isn’t the financial saving that matters, it’s the fact people back in the UK are thinking about them while they’re out there. It means a great deal to them and gives them a great boost."
Lyall Cresswell, Managing Director of the Transport Exchange Group, paid tribute to Squadron members.
He said: "We were only too pleased to support these brave men and women who have spent the past six months in Afghanistan enduring extremely tough conditions.
"It is all the more poignant that many people who leave the military go on to enter into the transport industry. Therefore we are well aware of the difficulties faced by the troops on a daily basis.
"Every day the news is filled with the daily difficulties faced by soldiers in Afghanistan. With this in mind, we were delighted to do what we could to help."
The Transport Exchange Group, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, has more than 2000 member companies, which use the company’s secure, flexible, visible, real-time services every day to maximise the profitability of their supply chains.