A SOLDIER from Garstang has been presented with his campaign medal by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, The Princess Royal after a demanding six month tour in Afghanistan.
Private David Loeber, age 22, deployed to Afghanistan with 2 Logistics Support Regiment (2LSR) from March to October.
The tour saw members of his unit spread out across Helmand Province providing transport and communications expertise and also working closely with the Afghan National Army to help prepare them to take over the security of their own country.
Princess Anne, who is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Logistics Corps, presented medals to 2LSR at Princess Royal Barracks in northern Germany before attending a specially arranged lunch with military personnel and their families.
Former Garstang High School student David, who joined the Army in 2009, was a driver during his tour in Afghanistan transporting vital supplies and equipment to Forward Operating Bases and Patrol Bases across Helmand.
He said: “My main role was a driver transporting various loads here there and everywhere. I took part in vehicle convoys from Camp Bastion and stayed in patrol bases for weeks.
“We came under attack a few times, mainly IED strikes (Improvised Explosive Devices) but no one was injured. The first thing I did in these situations was to check that everyone was all right.
“It’s great receiving my medal from Princess Anne – I feel a real sense of achievement, it made it that little bit more special.”
During their deployment 2LSR convoys often included off road cross country driving in which all personnel needed to be wary of a variety of patrol hazards from driving at night with no lights and as quietly as possible to avoid giving their position away, to how to handle approaches from people who may or may not be enemy insurgents.
David’s parents Andrew and Vicki travelled to Germany to watch the presentation and also met the princess in a reception after the parade. Andrew said: “We both feel a great sense of relief that he got back safely. It was a long tour – we were just waiting for the phone calls from him.
“When someone like Princess Anne comes to acknowledge the work that they all do it makes you very proud. We are very proud of David, this parade really shows how professional he is.”
Addressing the soldiers during the parade, Princess Anne said: “It is with great pride that I am able to be here with you and your families to present your Operational Service Medals for Operation HERRICK 14 – medals that have been hard earned.
“The Regiment has had a very successful tour and you are all to be congratulated on your achievements and professionalism.’’