Friday, March 9, 2007

Victoria Cross recipient - Budd's widow is my Hero

Corporal Bryan James Budd, the Parachute Regiment

Corporal Bryan James Budd of the Parachute Regiment, was killed in action in Afghanistan on 20 August, 2006. A member of A Company, 3 PARA, he was shot during a firefight with Taliban forces, and due to the exceptional nature of his role he was recommended for the Victoria Cross. His death was forensically examined by a British army investigatory team, at the same time that a review of his contribution to the action was conducted in order to ensure that he met the criteria for the great honour of receiving the V.C. The fact that Cpl. Budd had single-handed outflanked several guerrillas and put fire on them, and by so doing managed to save the lives of seven of his comrades, was the clincher.

At the time of the corporal’s death his 23 year old widow was at home with their daughter, and also eight months pregnant. Mrs. Lorena Budd has stood up to her loss incredibly well. A civilian employee of the Royal Artillery regiment, she chose to remain silent while the M.O.D. sorted out the award process, and the bumpy period of adjustment to life as a single parent. By all accounts she is a woman of great personal strength. And if the loss of husband and father were not tragic enough, a week before the V.C. investiture ceremony was scheduled with Her Majesty the Queen, the British media leaked word of the fact that her husband had been killed by “friendly” small arms fire. Lorena has weathered it all, and stood in her husband’s place, with his comrades of the elite Parachute Regiment. They were lucky to have had each other, even if for a few short years. Lorena Budd has her soldier hero, and she is now one of mine.
Mrs. Lorena Budd, the Parachute Regiment

Another V.C. story made the news last week. My brief report on the "Canadianized" version of the Victoria Cross, is found here:

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