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From Holden:

Hey, Tommie, do you want your medal? We’ll get it to you in a jiffy.

An Ulster war veteran who risked his life in Iraq has told of his surprise and sadness after a military medal to recognise his bravery was sent to him in the post two years late and wrapped in a Jiffy bag.

The Rev Charles McCartney, from Belfast, who served as a chaplain with the British Army when they invaded Iraq in March 2003, has expressed his disbelief after he unceremoniously received his Iraq war medal from the postman.

In the past, the former major had personally been presented with his medals for service in Kosovo and Bosnia during military ceremonies.


On completing his operational tour of duty at the end of 2003, he was expecting an invitation to a military ceremony where he would be formally presented with his Iraq war medal, which is awarded to all members of the armed forces who served in the country.

But Mr McCartney did not receive his medal until earlier this month- two years after completing his service – and instead of being awarded his medal during a special military event it was handed to him in a padded envelope by the postman. The only accompanying letter was a sheet of paper for him to sign to confirm he had received the package.

“I was left feeling very let down,” he said.

“At the very minimum I was expecting an invitation to go the Northern Ireland headquarters for a small ceremony. I went and served my country during a war and never asked any questions, even though the war was obviously wrong. Sending my medal in a bag was not right.”