A Gulf War veteran has made a desperate plea to have his prized medals reunited after they were stolen from his apartment.
A father of two, Robert Brown, recently returned from a walk with a friend to find his apartment door ajar.
And when he walked in, the 50-year-old, from St Leonards in East Kilbride, was heartbroken to discover his war medals had been stolen.
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Robert left the armed forces in 2012 after 22 years of service, most recently with the Royal Regiment of Scotland and was a physical training instructor for 17 of those years.
Medals taken are for service in the first Gulf War, tours of Northern Ireland, Basra service in Iraq, Queen Mother’s Golden Jubilee medal, Queen’s Silver Jubilee medal, Long service for serving six years or more in an operational setting and a Long Service Good Conduct Medal.
Robert, who served in the first Gulf War and was involved in freeing Kuwait, took to social media hoping the medals could be traced.
After suffering from PTSD due to his career, Robert told Lanarkshire Live: “These medals mean a lot to me.
“I just want them back. I’ve turned my flat upside down and they’re nowhere to be seen.”
“I have the miniatures, but the full campaign medals are gone. I would never willingly give them up. It doesn’t even have anything to do with their value.
“I would do anything to try to get them back, they mean a lot to me and I fought hard for them during my 22 years of service.
“My plan was to put them in a frame along with another badge and a plaque and keep them to give to my daughters as a keepsake when I’m gone.”
Police say investigations to find the seven medals, said to be worth thousands of pounds, are ongoing but are nowhere to be seen so far.
The incident occurred on January 15 when Robert was out for a walk with friends; when he returned, he noticed that the door to his apartment was open.
At first glance, nothing was missing until Robert sat down and noticed that his medals, which were on top of the DVD player, weren’t there.
Robert first joined the army in 1990 and signed up with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers, which later became the Royal Scots and then part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
He had spent just five days with his battalion after basic training and passing out, when he was told he was headed to the first Gulf War.
“They told us ‘pack up, go,’ and we were the first infantry regiment to arrive in the Gulf and the last to leave,” he told us.
“I received various honors during my service, but I started having difficulties about six months before I left. I was stationed at Dreghorn Barracks at the time.
“I was breaking down all the time, my mom passed away and I never had time to cry. In the military it’s a tough mentality. The mentality is just getting on with your job.”
“Then when I was back on the civilian street, I didn’t know how to handle it. I just didn’t know how to handle all the emotions that came up. I eventually got help thanks to my brother, who is also in the military higher up.
“He contacted a superior officer and sent an army doctor to see me and diagnosed me with PTSD. I suffer from insomnia and terrible nightmares, among other things.”
Robert’s name is on each medal along with his regimental number, 24911120, and he asks anyone who comes across them to contact the police.
Sergeant Scott Anderson told Lanarkshire Live: “Investigations are ongoing and images of the stolen items have been distributed locally and at our briefing.
“Local pawn shops have also been visited with a negative result.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101.
Information can also be left anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.