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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 January 2005, 12:15 GMT
Veteran's anger at medal delay
Iain McMenemy
Iain McMenemy saw service with the Desert Rats
Many British soldiers who served during the Iraq War in 2003 are still waiting for their campaign medals, according to a frontline veteran of the conflict.

Iain McMenemy, who served with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards battle group, said defence chiefs informed him there was a "long backlog" of medals.

The Ministry of Defence told him that priority was being given to personnel who are still serving.

However, Mr McMenemy, 32, said this was an unacceptable situation.

A former Territorial Army soldier, Mr McMenemy was called up to serve with the Scots Dragoon Guards who formed part of the 7th Armoured Brigade or 'Desert Rats'.

He left the TA in February 2004 but said since then he has seen no sign of his Iraq War Medal.

The communications consultant contacted the Army Medals Office last year but said he was not given any clear idea of when his medal would arrive.

It's only a bit of metal and a bit of ribbon but it means something for things like a parade or the Save the Regiments demonstration in Edinburgh a few weeks ago
Iain McMenemy
The business consultant from Larbert, near Stirling, said: "It is a poor show that it is taking them so long to award medals that were earned by troops almost two years ago.

"What is particularly ironic is that I was served my call-up papers and given 10 working days to sort out all my personal, employment and financial affairs before leaving to go to war.

"It seems that the Army needs a lot longer than that to check some paperwork and send a medal out in the post."

Mr McMenemy said that despite receiving letters from Prince Charles and senior military officials thanking him for his service, the medals office advised him that he had slipped down the priority list because he has left the service.

Mr McMenemy said: "It's only a bit of metal and a bit of ribbon but it means something for things like a parade or the Save the Regiments demonstration in Edinburgh a few weeks ago. And it's important for events like Remembrance Sunday.

"Perhaps rather than cutting back on the number of troops and regiments, the Ministry of Defence should devote some time to looking after current soldiers and those who have served in the past."

A British Army spokesman said: "Medals are issued as soon as eligibility for them is established and they are sent out in application order.

"This process can take anything up to a few weeks after an application is received and is dependent upon the amount of medal applications at that time and whether there is an existing backlog."

"We can't comment on individual cases and without knowing when Mr McMenemy put in his application for his medal we can't find out when he will get it."


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