181 members of the British Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence have recently been honoured for courage and professionalism while on active service. There had been a lot of expectation that a Victoria Cross, Britain\'s highest award for gallantry, would be awarded to some soldiers, who had participated in Herrick VI in Afghanistan but in the end a number of Military Crosses were awarded for bravery in the face of danger. These included posthumous awards to Captain David Hicks and Corporal Craig Brelsford.

Corporal Brelsford had been tasked with assisting in the evacuation of four critically injured casualties from the battlefield. According to the official citation, Cpl Brelsford placed himself between the enemy and the casualties, creating a protective screen and laying down fire. At the same time he provided inspiration and encouragement to the young soldiers under his command as they repeatedly fought off the Taleban. Although critically injured he continued to command his men, only standing down when he and his men were in the safety of a Viking vehicle. Sadly he later succumbed to his injuries. Brelsford was killed during Operation Pechtaw. There is an excellent interactive report on the firefight together with interviews from the soldiers who were there and detailed maps at the following link.

Of course, this is just highlighting one incident, and in this case British soldiers. But it is a sobering report, summing up what soldiers from several nations are experiencing on the frontline on a daily basis, for which a number of whom have recently been rewarded.

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