TA medics honoured in Hillsborough

Published Sunday, 09 June 2013
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Members of the Territorial Army have been honoured at a special ceremony at Hillsborough Castle in Co Down on Sunday.

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The event recognised the contribution of medical volunteers in their work overseas.

Family and friends turned out to see the soldiers being presented with medals for their service in Afghanistan.

The reservists recently returned from a three month tour of duty at the military hospital at Camp Bastion.

"They have done really tremendous work while they were out there and the medals are very well deserved for all who received them," DUP MLA Edwin Poots, who was at the ceremony, said.

Major General Ewan Carmichael, Director General of the Army Medical Services was proud to see the volunteers' work recognised.

He said: "I'm very fond of 204 Field Hospital, because I used to command a brigade in which 204 exists and a few years ago when I was asked the question should 204 go on deployment to Afghanistan, it was a no brainer for me."

"I was really enthusiastic that they should go and this is the second time they've been deployed in recent years. For me personally it's a tremendous professional result that they've seen but also there's an emotional part to it as well.

"The great thing for the National Health Service is that they bring back experience, an acute nursing experience and that must be fantastic for society in Northern Ireland."

The volunteers are now returning to normal life working in the health service at home.

Lieutenant Rachel McAuley is back at the Ulster Hospital and she has plenty of experiences to report back to her colleagues.

She said: "Even though they see operations every day, I think they were quite shocked, to see the injuries and to see what we had to do when we were out there."

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