FORMER sailor Daniel Phoenix has spoken of his pride after finally receiving his war medals after a six-year wait.
It was the recent death of Mr Phoenix’s grandfather – whose medals were draped on his funeral coffin – that made the former serviceman step up his fight to get his medals.
The 30-year-old dad-of-two left the Royal Navy in 2004 after serving in the Iraq War in HMS Marlborough.
But while his comrades received their medals in 2005, Mr Phoenix was stuck in a never-ending battle with red tape as he was passed from one department to another to prove his eligibility.
But when he contacted his local MP, George Hollingbery, there were a few telephone calls to the right people in the Ministry of Defence.
Mr Hollingbery presented Mr Phoenix with his medal in Waterlooville precinct on Saturday.
Mr Phoenix, of South View Close, Cowplain, said: ‘I went to my grandfather’s funeral. My brother had his medals. My dad had his medals.
‘On the coffin were all my grandfather’s medals.
‘I thought “I have got to sort out these medals, so my boys have something to remember me by”.’
After being presented with the Op Telic Medal, Mr Phoenix, who now works for BAE Systems at Portsmouth Dockyard, said: ‘It’s brilliant – I am so proud.’
Mr Phoenix said his family – his wife Victoria, 30, sons Charlie, four, Owen, five, and his late grandfather Jack Phoenix, from Wales – had every reason to be proud.
Mr Phoenix provided intelligence during the 2003 conflict, allowing gunfire support when Allied forces took Basra.
Mr Hollingbery said: ‘It was something that was relatively easy for us to sort out. It’s so rewarding. This means so much to him.’