HRH Prince of Wales joined friends and family today to recognise the work that the Welsh Guard have shown through their Iraq deployment in June 2021.
75 members of the Operation Shader 13 battalion were presented with their medals at the Combermere Barracks in Windsor.
The Prince was welcomed into the Barracks by Commanding Officer Luitenent Colonel John Livesey along with a small quarter guard on arrival.
This follows their six-month deployment to Iraq where they spent their time working and training with other coalition forces from across the world.
One of the members of the company was Guardsman Ryan Salmon, 28 from St David’s.
This was a poignant moment for Ryan as his father, James Salmon, stood in the same position just under 40 years ago receiving his medal from Prince Charles after the Fauklands war.
He said: “It was an honour to receive a medal off him. It was quite nerve-racking before it started but once he’s stood in front of you, he’s very easy to talk to and he seemed genuinely interested in what we had been doing.”
“I really enjoyed working with people from other armies, other nations. It was nice to see that everyone got along, and we were working towards a common goal.”
One day into the two week isolation in preparation for deployment, Ryan found out that his partner was expecting their first child resulting in a long and exciting six months.
“It was hard but we tried to stay in contact throughout facetime and a few romantic letters back home,” he said.
“Talking to Prince Charles was brilliant. He actually asked if I was shot in Iraq.”
Lance sergent Okeke originally from Nigeria also collected his medal with his wife watching.
He said: “It means a lot to get recognition for the hard work we have done and getting to meet Prince Charles is really the highlight of my career so far.”
The Operation Shader will run until June 2022. It is the British commitment to the continued defeat of Da’esh across the broader Middle East.
Following the preseentation of medals for Operation Shader, Prince Charles moved on to the Battalion Memorial Stone where a private presentation took place to present medals for long service and good conduct.