Tuesday, November 30, 2010

British soldier auctions off his Iraq medals

Something very wrong with this picture:

Iraq veteran Ryan Copping to sell Military Cross to give daughter a better life

Ryan Copping receives his medal from the Queen

A war hero is selling the Military Cross handed to him by the Queen to help pay for his life in Civvy Street as the parent of a young daughter.

The Folkestone soldier, who laid his life on the line in the heat of a Basra battle to protect his platoon from enemy fire, has been told he could expect it to fetch up to £22,000.

Ryan Copping served with the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

He said the money will help him bring up five-year-old Faith and allow her to "have a happier life".

The 25-year-old is now working in the security business and said he needs the cash from the medal sale, which is being held at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday, November 30.

Private Copping was just 21 when he was driving the lead Warrior armoured vehicle in an operation in the heart of Basra at the height of the state of emergency in 2006.

They came under intense small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire from a notorious area known as the Shia flats.

With the crew struggling to identify both the enemy and the route to take to push onto the objective, Private Copping opened his driver’s hatch, stuck his head out and began steering his vehicle through streets strewn with obstacles while talking his gunner onto target after target.

The official citation reads: "Private Copping has demonstrated a near complete disregard for his own safety in order to do what he believed to be the act needed to ensure the vehicle, platoon and operation did not become bogged down."

On the decision to sell the Military Cross along with his Iraq Theatre of War medal, he said: "I don’t look at them and see pound notes, but if I don’t sell them, they will pass down through my family and some day, somebody else will...

Read the rest here, and more background here.

Nobody needs me to spell out what is so wrong with this story.

(H/T Kathi)

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