A KILSYTH soldier received a medal from Prince Andrew last week in recognition of her service in Afghanistan.
Private Nicola Fulton (19), who has just returned from a six month tour in the war- torn country, was among 200 soldiers from the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, who were honoured by the prince, below, with the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan.
The ceremony took place lat Glencorse Barracks, near Penicuik, where the battalion is based. Nicola said: “It felt great to get the medal, it’s a good achievement and it’s something different to other people my age.
“When you’re in the Army, your friends there become your best friends. You can compare things you’ve done with them but you’ve nothing the same as your civilian friends.
“I wanted to do something different with my life so I joined up when I was 16.
“When you take part in things like this it really makes it worthwhile.”
While based at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, the former St Maurice’s High pupil had a chance meeting with another, more high-profile, member of the royal family. “I was one of a select few who got to meet Prince William,” continued Nicola.
“He was there getting his photos taken and came up and was asking us how we were getting on. He was really down to earth.
“I think Prince William and Prince Harry have both been really good in supporting us the way they have.”
Nicola now has a month off to look forward to but says she’ll miss the banter with her fellow soldiers.
“Being out there was better than I expected,” added the 19-year-old. “It was just like living in a town. My mum was really worried about me being there but it’s different for me, I don’t do what the guys do.
“I get quite bored when I’m off, I miss the laugh with the guys – it’s like being part of a big family when we’re together.”
Nicola and mum, Carol-Anne (44), are now heading off for a well-earned break in Cancun.
Carol-Anne said: “I’m just so relieved to have her home, it was six months of worrying. But, thankfully, all of them came home. I’m a very proud mum.”