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  • Writer's pictureShaun Lewis

And we think footballers are heroes

Eight years ago today, Able Seaman Kate Nesbitt was awarded the Military Cross by HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. She became the first woman in the Royal Navy to be awarded this prestigious decoration for valour in the face of the enemy. Her citation read as follows:

“Nesbitt's actions throughout a series of offensive operations were exemplary; under fire and under pressure her commitment and courage were inspirational and made the difference between life and death. She performed in the highest traditions of her service.”

In March 2009, Kate was serving in Afghanistan as a medical assistant with 3 Commando Brigade. Aged only twenty-one at the time and just five feet tall, she and her colleagues were caught in an ambush by the Taliban, and a member of The Rifles was shot and wounded. Despite coming under fire from the Taliban, she ran seventy yards forward to spend forty-five minutes administering emergency medical treatment to the helpless soldier. By stemming his bleeding and providing an airway to allow him to breathe, she succeeded in saving his life.

I often hear criticism of the young men and women of the armed forces today. Kate’s and many others’ actions show that the qualities of courage, duty and selflessness are still as prevalent today as they have always been.

Kate Nesbitt MC

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