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Moving show of support for homecoming troops
12:32pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in Your Say
RESIDENTS of Andover and surrounding villages, YOU were terrific in your support in giving an exceptionally warm welcome to the personnel of the 22 Engineer Regiment on their return from active duty in Afghanistan.
You lined the streets in very large numbers, often standing ten deep in some places, to express your thanks to the men and women who have served this country with honour and distinction during the past seven months.
Later that day, and after speaking with many soldiers who had just returned from active duty, I am able to assure you that these young men and women were very moved by the strong and emotional support which you gave them on their return from duty, while taking part in the Freedom Parade.
After the parade, at Swinton Barracks, I was asked to present 60 campaign medals to personnel who were from all parts of the UK.
Some of the recipients also came from South Africa, Sierra Leone, and Ireland.
All 60 medals were in recognition of their tour of duty, I felt so proud to be able to do this.
During their tour of duty no member of 22 Engineer Regiment was lost on active service, however a small number did receive injuries and are now being cared for by the support facilities of the Army, and will continue to receive specialist care in the future.
The 22 Regiment is a very proud regiment of the British Army, and Andover and the borough was proud to facilitate their Parade as Freedom of the Borough permits.
I would appreciate it if any members of the public would be kind enough to forward to me any commemorative electronic photos of the event (small size preferred), care of the Mayor’s Assistant, Mrs Sue Barrett, on sbarrett@ testvalley.gov.uk.
A photographic display commemorating the event at a future date could be arranged.
Once again, thank you everyone for your generous support on this very special day, a memorable occasion for the homecoming troops, families, friends and yourselves.
Councillor Janet Whiteley Mayor of Test Valley Alamein Ward, Andover