Able Seaman Medical Assistant Kate Nesbitt…

…was awarded the British Military Cross through her actions in providing medical aid to Lance Corporal John List during an ambush in Nawa – Central Helmund Province – Afghanistan.

Medical Assistant Kate Nesbitt receives the Military Cross from the Prince of Wales during investitures at Buckingham Palace in London today

(Image received by email – source unknown)

Kate is the only woman in the Royal Navy to have been awarded such an award.  I suspect Kate is one of very few women to have been awarded this type of award as a result of front-line service and that this might well fly in the face of many of those who believe that in general, women don’t belong in our Defence Forces.

All but five feet tall apparently – 21 years old and at the time of this ambush – 3 weeks shy of completing her tour.  Reported by the BBC to have said; “I can’t believe I am worthy of anything like this and I can’t believe anyone would go out of their way to thank you in a more formal way. It was so overwhelming just to have a pat on the back really so this is just completely out of this world.”

As far as Kate was concerned – she was ‘just doing her job’.

Her job on this particular day looked a little like this:

Kate Nesbitt - reportedly after the ambush

(Image received by email – source unknown)

Well – afterwards at least.  I doubt anyone could really capture what her job looked like – when the incident actually happened.  The thing you need to understand is that Naval personnel aren’t trained to be engaged in Infantry style combat.  They might provide a support role and this might mean being put ‘in harms way’ so to speak – but it’s up to an individual unit to determine how best to prepare those who are attached to them in specific support roles such as this one – and often this really means learning ‘on the job’.

Listening to Kate speak to a reporter when she got back home, you’d be amazed to think that the young lass yarning to you on the screen was involved in such an action in the first place.  Let alone try to imagine her hands moving with the certainty of one who is well trained and completely confident of her abilities to do the job she was employed to do – saving other peoples lives!

An ordinary person – taken from her ordinary life – chucked right into the deep end and by all reports – simply doing her job.

Is is just me – or am I the only one that thinks we could learn a thing or two from such people like Kate Nesbitt here?

I’m not just talking about our military personnel.  Have you seen the huge price our personal carers pay in devoting their lives to the ones they love? How about those who volunteer their time to NGO’s who provide medical aid and support in places where their very lives are at risk each and every day? What do you say to the unknown by-stander who climbs into the back of a burning car to pull out a trapped passenger, renders first aid and waits for the ambulance – then simply just walks away? How about the young woman who stands up to her heavy handed man and says “No more” to protect her child? Everyday people – living everyday lives and boom – something changes – they ‘step up’ and they ‘act’.

We speak on courage being a ‘thing’ that you gather up in yourself, in order to follow through or stand up to a difficult time or set of circumstances.  I believe courage is simply something we call it AFTER the event – much later when we reflect on it – trying to understand the nature of what made us do such a thing. At the time – you just act.  I don’t know how you explain such a thing – and it continues to amaze me – each and every time.

I like that Kate Nesbitt – whilst clearly an extraordinary person in the world – isn’t really all that alone.  If you look about you, you might recognise a little of the same quality in the people nearest and dearest to you – but I bet they’d deny it, through and through. As odd as it might sound – there are people amongst us who simply don’t realise how truly amazing they are and I remain pleasantly surprised when I stumble across them.

We couldn’t begin to gather enough nickel in this country to award those of our society for their bravery and courage.

I salute you Kate Nesbitt and all those like you – Bravo Zulu!

Belongum – Out!

About Belongum

People bring 'things' to me. Not necessarily PHYSICAL things as such - mostly just the loose bits and pieces floating around in their 'brain-box'. Sometimes, they also bring themselves - and THAT isn't anywhere near as simple as it sounds. I come here to pass some of this 'brain-box business' on to the ether world, and to empty my head. Besides folks - I love a good yarn - so come and join me!
This entry was posted in Able Seaman MA Kate Nesbitt, ambushed, fear, life, Medals, Military, Military Cross, people, Royal Navy, saving a life, true story, War, Women, yarn. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Able Seaman Medical Assistant Kate Nesbitt…

  1. James Daly says:

    what a fantastic role model for us all. And so very well written, I could not agree more.
    Cheers James – thanks for dropping by mate! As is so often the case we don’t come across most of our amazing role models in this way, simply because they lead ‘ordinary’ lives and never make the front page news. It’s such a shame really – because there are so many people like Kate here – out there in our everyday community, getting on with ‘life’.


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