2 Medical Regiment receive Afghan medals 03 November 2009
SSgt James O Keefe, from York.
The men and women of Germany-based 2 Medical Regiment have been presented with their campaign medals after a demanding tour in Afghanistan.
2 Med Regt deployed to Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 10 for six months in the spring in support of 19 Light Brigade.
Their main focus was ensuring that all the battle groups and stand-alone units had sufficient medical cover and to provide support to the Brigade's main mission - to establish security across the whole of Helmand in the build-up to the Afghanistan Presidential Elections in July.
The medics were often based at Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) around Helmand province - living and working with the fighting units.
Many of them such as Staff Sergeant James O’Keefe, 36, also went on patrols deep into enemy territory and stayed with fighting soldiers as they took on the enemy - always ready to treat the wounded and organising their safe evacuation back to hospital.
SSgt O'Keefe, while attached to 3SCOTS (Black Watch) battle group during the tour, treated an engineer shot in the arm while still coming under enemy fire. He said: "We had been pinned down all night before we destroyed an illegal drug production plant in the morning.
"But we came under sniper fire, which is when the engineer was injured. While rounds were whizzing over our heads I treated him - I had to stop his bleeding and give him morphine to ease his pain. We eventually managed to helicopter him back to the camp where he could be seen to. It was scary but you can't panic, you just revert back to your training."
The medals parade, which took place at the Regiment's camp in Hohne, Germany, on Saturday October 31 2009, included more than 120 soldiers and officers receiving their medals. The parade also featured a performance of the Band of the Kings Division.
Maj Gen Michael von Bertele OBE Director General Army Medical Services who presented soldiers with medals at the parade, said: "I feel enormously privileged to meet all the members of 2 Medical Regiment.
"I am enormously proud to acknowledge what they have all done on tour and am full of admiration for the job that the young men and women of the regiment have done in some of the most demanding and difficult situations. It's a joy to have them all home safely."