TWO Solihull soldiers were among the courageous servicemen honoured by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham this week.
Sapper Karl Newman and Corporal Michael Mahoney - who are based at Sheldon’s Territorial Army Centre - were presented with medals at a special ceremony on Tuesday evening. In total, six soldiers from 301 Troop received medals - watched by proud family members.
The new Lord Mayor, Councillor Michael Wilkes, said: “I can’t say how much the people of Birmingham deeply appreciate everything that all of you are doing for us.
“It’s easy these days, even with the threats we face globally, to take peace and tranquility for granted.”
After the medals parade had finished, the Solihull News spoke to the two borough men who had been recognised.
Cpl Mahoney - who has been with the troop for 13 years - received the Volunteer Reserve Service Medal. A lifelong resident of Castle Bromwich, he works as a chef with the squadron.
Although he’s served up food for hundreds of hungry troops in such far-flung locations as America and Romania, the father-of-two confessed that he wasn’t a natural cook.
“I learned everything through this,” he said. “I’ve been with this troop some time - it is a close-knit group and it was nice to be recognised.”
Sapper Newman, aged 34, received a medal for his recent service in Afghanistan. He spent three-months in Helmand province and returned to Britain in January.
“I spent a fair bit of time with a team rescuing casualties, both civilians and soldiers.
“It was a real eye-opener. It’s life and death out there - there are so many British soldiers putting their lives on the line.
“On a daily basis people are taking one step forward talking to their friends and then another and losing a leg.”