Sunday, November 29, 2009
By Chris Hughes, Mirror
She ran through a hail of Taliban bullets to rescue a wounded comrade who had been shot in the neck.
As the battle raged around her in Helmand Province, 21-year-old medical assistant Kate Nesbitt dressed the wound and stopped the blood flowing.
And yesterday, as she became the first Royal Navy woman to be awarded the Military Cross, Kate said: "This is the proudest day of my life."
Brave Kate, from Whitleigh, Devon, is only the second woman in the Armed Forces to receive the award. The first was Michelle Norris, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who saved a colleague's life in Iraq in 2006.
Kate, who received her medal from Prince Charles during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, said: "It was the biggest shock. I was really overwhelmed that they trusted me to do the job and never doubted me at all, that's what was important. I just did what I'm sure everyone else would have done for me."
Lance Corporal Colin Spooner, who carried on giving orders after receiving 48 shrapnel wounds when a mortar round landed behind him in Afghanistan, was also awarded the Military Cross.
Colin, 22, of Selby, North Yorks, refused to let colleagues carry him to safety in case they were targeted.
Instead he walked to a vehicle despite his wounds. He said yesterday: "I realised that I'd been hurt and I got dragged into a building and treated.
"It would have taken four blokes to carry me out but I knew we were still engaged so I walked. That's what did most of the damage. But I'd do it again."