A COMBAT medic from Blackpool has been presented with his operational medal after returning from a demanding six-month tour in Afghanistan.
Corporal Edd Gonzague, originally from St Lucia, was deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 15 with 1 Medical Regiment, providing medical cover and support to the 20th Armoured Brigade as it helped Afghan forces take over security.
The medics were based at Forward Operating Bases around Helmand Province – living and working with fighting units and accompanying them on patrols as they took on enemy insurgents, always ready to treat the wounded and organising safe evacuation.
Cpl Gonzague, who joined the Army in 2002 after moving to the UK, served in various patrol bases around Helmand Province, where he provided medical training to soldiers and Afghan Army medics, as well as medical care to UK and Afghan military personnel.
The 28-year-old said: “My main job was primary health care and to provide medical support to the guys on the ground. Fortunately I didn’t have to deal with any serious injuries.
“We engaged with locals finding about whether they were growing the poppy or other crops. I did some training with the Afghan National Army and also worked with police.”
Cpl Gonzague, who lives with wife Kimberley and their two children Christopher, three, and one-year-old Aliyah, in Blackpool, added: “I am very glad to be back and am looking forward to spending time with my kids and enjoying being a dad.”