A SOLDIER from Pocklington who gave life-saving treatment to a close pal while under attack in Afghanistan has been honoured after his actions were described as “exceptional”.
Former Woldgate pupil Joe Campbell works as a medical technician and has received a Joint Force Support Commendation for an “outstanding clinical performance and commitment to providing first class medical care” during his recent six-month tour.
The 21-year-old received praise after attending to his stricken colleague while under fire from the Taliban in the war-torn region of Sangin.
However, a report into his overall efforts during his tour included a glowing reference from his commanding officer.
It reads: “Lance Corporal Campbell’s main effort was the management of military casualties within his patrol base and while on patrol, his remit extended to the provision of optimal medical support to local national casualties and insurgents.
“This robust and dynamic young soldier performed to an exceptional standard during this demanding tour, well above what would be expected of his current rank and experience. His skills have been tested at every turn, in particular when his patrol base was faced with daily attacks from insurgents.
“Professional and meticulous, his provision of medical support across the continuum of care has been outstanding. He faced many challenges since deploying, however, he managed these to a level that would be expected of a more seasoned medic.
“Due to the austere and remote location of his patrol base he was the sole medic.”
It was heard how he treated his friend for more than an hour before the arrival of a medical officer, administering treatment that undoubtedly saved his life
The soldier had been shot in the face and despite being under a hail of bullets, L/Cpl continued to help until back up arrived. No other soldier to sustain this sort of wound during the war has survived.
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The report continued: “The magnitude of this undertaking should not be underestimated. It is never easy when a casualty is someone who is part of a close-knit troop in a patrol base and a good friend. That said, he remained focused and saved his colleague’s life.”
L/Cpl Campbell, who has lived on the Sherbuttgate Estate and now has a flat in the town centre, was a member of Pocklington Cadet Force as a youngster and joined the army in 2007 to become a combat medical technician.
He featured in the Post months later having been named as the top recruit of his troop during basic training at Winchester.
L/Cpl Campbell followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Royal Army Medical Corps. His father Ian is now ranked as a Major.
He said: “Joe is doing what I did, but a generation on. I went to Northern Ireland and the first Gulf War, but today these soldiers are looking the enemy in the eye – that’s the difference.
“It should never be underestimated what they are doing. Many go out there as kids and come back as adults.
“We’re very proud of him, it’s all he’s ever wanted to do and he loves it.”
L/Cpl Campbell has now been posted from his regiment to the Scots Guards and will remain at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire during their training in order for him to return to the frontline next year.
Major Campbell added: “To his credit, Joe asked his postings branch for a unit which was returning to Afghanistan in the near future. He thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of being deployed and found the opportunity to practise his skills, in this most difficult of environments, to be very rewarding – his mother was not quite so keen.”