Prince Charles thanks Suffolk troops
VIDEO PRINCE Charles warmly congratulated pilots and ground crews at a medal ceremony in Suffolk today, including some who supported Prince Harry during his own spell in Afghanistan.
PRINCE Charles warmly congratulated pilots and ground crews at a medal ceremony in Suffolk today, including some who supported Prince Harry during his own spell in Afghanistan.
During the ceremony, the prince also told of the “worrying” times he faced as his son fought overseas earlier this year.
He landed at RAF Wattisham near Stowmarket this morning to hand out an array of medals to Three Regiment Army Air Corps including 176 campaign medals.
For the vast majority of the soldiers collecting medals the ceremony officially marked the end of a 12-month deployment supporting infantry with Apache attack helicopters and Lynx utility helicopters.
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After chatting with each service medal recipient the prince addressed the airmen and their families from a rostrum at the centre of a hangar.
He expressed the nation's gratitude to the soldiers and his own feelings of privilege in being invited to the base to distribute the honours, which he described as “incredibly well deserved”.
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He also talked about his wish to visit Afghanistan himself to see the conditions the soldiers faced on a daily basis but he said he had listened intently to reports from officers of the situation and moral amongst the airmen.
He said that the support the regiment provided the infantry had been second to none and he also congratulated the engineers for keeping the craft in the air even when they returned “with a few bullet holes in them”.
“We are incredibly lucky there are so many young men and women who are prepared to do all of this,” he said.
“I wonder if people in this country realise what it takes to be out there for six months but what I do understand is the support provided by families and loved ones at home.
“I can speak with a little more understanding after my youngest son spent some time in Afghanistan. Maybe some of you where out there when he was there may be some of you were controlled by him when you were flying around in Apaches.
“I have heard some interesting stories from some people who have been controlled by him. I hope he took the right decisions - I am sure he did.
“I know what it is like to be a parent, to be left behind and hearing about what is happening to a son or daughter - I understand what families are putting up with on a daily basis. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all families.
“These young airmen are a credit to this country so thank you and well done.”