Northern Ireland

Parents of Kylie Watson 'proud of her Military Cross'

L/Cpl Kylie Watson
Image caption L/Cpl Kylie Watson is believed to be only the fourth woman to receive the Military Cross

The parents of a British army medic who put herself in "mortal danger" to treat a soldier under heavy Taliban fire have spoken of their pride as their daughter is awarded the Military Cross.

L/Cpl Kylie Watson, from Ballymena, County Antrim, gave medical care in exposed open ground for 20 minutes.

Her parents, Glen and Lorna Watson said they were very proud of their daughter.

"She is just amazing, we don't know where she gets it from," Glen Watson said.

Her citation spoke of her "immense courage" and "inspiration" to her platoon in Helmand province last year.

Mrs Watson said her daughter, who serves as part of the Royal Army Medical Corps, had been bashful about the honour.

"She told us in her own typical laid back style.

Courage

"She was back home to be a bridesmaid at her sister's wedding and I think she didn't want to steal the limelight from her sister," she said.

"She's just very low-key, she said 'mummy, daddy, I've got something to tell you, I'm up for the Military Cross and its going to be presented by the Queen', it was a lot to take in.

"We don't even know when she will get the award, in fact I'm not sure Kylie even knows herself."

L/Cpl Watson is believed to be only the fourth woman to receive the MC, the third highest award for gallantry.

Her parents said after the initial shock they were amazed by what their daughter had done.

"It doesn't surprise me with Kylie, it is just the kind of girl she is," Mrs Watson said.

"She hasn't really told us in detail what happened, I think she doesn't want us to worry.

"She just sort of said she went out to save ones under fire."

L/Cpl Watson's citation reads: "Watson's immense courage, willingness to put her own life at risk and absolute bravery saved the life of one warrior and acted as an inspiration to her platoon and their Afghan National Army partners."

Her parents said their daughter always knew she wanted to so something with her life to help other people.

'Absolute bravery'

L/Cpl Watson had previously run 100 metres in full view of the enemy under sustained fire to give life-saving first aid to an Afghan soldier who had been shot twice in the pelvis.

Her parents said their daughter often works as a lone medic with about 200 soldiers.

"When we see the pictures she sends us I just think I don't know how she does it," Mrs Watson said.

"Glen thinks she gets her bravery and will from me, but I don't, it's just her.

"We are proud of her anyway, award or not, but this just makes her even more special."

Her father added: "She's just amazing."

L/Cpl Watson is among 136 service personnel, most of whom served in Afghanistan with 4 Mechanised Brigade between April and October last year, to be named in the latest military honours list.

Their awards will be presented at a later date.

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