Local Veteran, John Gardiner, has expressed his gratitude to Keith Brown MSP for his intervention in securing a replacement medal for the time he spent serving in the Iraq conflict.
Mr Gardiner who served in the Armed Forces for nearly 30 years and has medals from tours of duty in Northern Ireland, The Falklands and Kosovo was also awarded a medal for his service in Iraq but the MOD issued his medal to the wrong address and it went missing. Mr Gardner tried every avenue available to get a replacement medal but was told at every turn that the only way he would get a replacement was to report the medal as stolen – which it wasn’t.
Mr Gardner turned to his local MSP, Keith Brown, for assistance in August last year after trying for eight and a half years to get a replacement medal and was delighted when Mr Brown stepped in and arranged for him to receive his medal.
Mr Gardner said: “I contacted every organisation I could think of to try and get my medal but no-one was able to help me which was very frustrating. It was only when Keith got involved that things started moving and I appreciate the effort he made on my behalf. What he managed to achieve in a few weeks, I couldn’t do in eight and a half years.
“All my medals are important to me but this one is particularly special as I lost more friends in Iraq than in any other conflict. This medal completes my collection and I can now display them together - I can’t thank Keith enough.
Mr Brown added: “I was only too happy to help John when he got in touch. I know how much medals can mean to those who have served in the Armed Forces and I was happy to try and help John get a replacement for the one that had gone missing.
“I contacted the then Secretary of State for Defence Personnel, Mark Francois MP, who agreed to issue a new medal for John and I appreciate his support in this matter.
“John has a record of 3000 days in combat and it’s disappointing that it took nearly that long for him to receive his medal for his service in Iraq. I am however delighted that he now has the medal and he will be able to wear it along with all his others at this years Armed Forces Day celebrations.
Picture attached of Keith and John Gardner