SOLDIERS from Gloucestershire were honoured for their service in Afghanistan in front of their proud families, friends and comrades at a medals ceremony in Tetbury on Friday.
The 28 soldiers from 29 Regiment in South Cerney were presented with the Op Herrick medal at the Market House by Tetbury man and former army Major General, Malcolm Wood RLC.
Before receiving the medals, the soldiers and their families attended a thanksgiving service at St Mary’s Church led by the vicar, the Rev Poppy Hughes.
They then marched to the Market Hall accompanied by the Band of the Royal Logistic Corps, who played military anthems, before each soldier was given a medal by Maj Gen Wood.
To end the day, the soldiers and the band marched through the town to St Saviour's Church and visited the War Memorial.
Among the proud family members present was Kimberley Kenny, whose husband Steven was receiving a medal.
“I am so proud of him and so are his kids, Charlie, Bradley and Harrison. He was out there for three months and over Christmas – it was long enough. Having to deal with a new-born baby and kids was tough.
"Christmas Day without him was tough but we managed to speak on FaceTime (an iPhone application) which was nice.”
The regiment, which provides logistical support for the army, chose Tetbury as the location for the ceremony as part of a scheme to forge links between the regiment and the town, which has seen troops from the regiment attend the Tetbury Christmas lights switch-on and finish a charity triathlon in the town.
Mayor of Tetbury Sandra Ball, who congratulated the soldiers in a speech after the ceremony, said: “I think it is very important that we have that link.
"It is important that we are able to give a lot of support to the soldiers and their friends and family. It is a very important time for Tetbury Town Council.”
Those receiving the medal had served more than 28 days serving in military operations.
Corporal Kara Sennett, from the regiment, already the proud owner of the Op Herrick medal, was there to witness the ceremony.
She explained how the soldiers would feel about receiving the medal: “It is just an amazing feeling, you just feel good in yourself and you feel very proud of the team as well.
“When you have been away for six months from your family it is even more special to get a medal. And getting them here in a beautiful town makes it a great day for them.”