“GETTING an MBE on the 10th year since my injuries has just topped off everything I’ve experienced to get me to this point”

Those are the words of war veteran and triple amputee Andy Reid after he was awarded an MBE on Tuesday for his voluntary services to veterans and to people with disabilities in St Helens.

Andy, from Rainford, was serving in the army in Afghanistan in 2009, when he stood on an improvised explosive device, losing both his legs and his right arm.

But rather than let his injuries take over his life, the 42-year-old turned his attentions to his recovery.

On Tuesday, November 26, Andy went to London alongside his wife Claire and eight-year-old son William to meet the Duke of Cambridge Prince William at Buckingham Palace, who officially awarded him his MBE.

He added: “To have William and Claire with me, was just amazing, it means so much as well because it’s not just me who has gone through all of this, they have to.

“That’s why it means so much to get an MBE on the 10th year since my injuries, it’s just topped off everything I’ve experience to get me to this point.”

Talking through the emotional day, dad-of-two, Andy, added: “We went to London early and stayed in the Union Jack Club, a hotel for veterans and then the next morning we got up, got ready then went in a taxi right through the front gates of Buckingham Palace.

“It was very surreal, I have never met Prince William before, so it was great and it was amazing that he knew all about AIM (AIM: Amputation, Inspiration, Motivation’ was jointly set up by Andy in St Helens which aims to inspire, motivate and offer assistance towards further education, employment, sports and hobbies for amputees.)

“I was made up with that, he’d clearly been briefed on it but said he was very impressed, and with him having a military background as well, he understood a lot of what I had been through.

“It was very, very special and a day I’ll never forget.”

Since his injuries Andy credits the support he has had from the St Helens community, as well as the military community across the nation, with helping him get to this point.

He added: “What people don’t realise is I get support everyday, not just when I do the events and stuff, which is amazing and I’m very grateful, but also when I just go to the shop and in everyday life.

“The support and comments have just been fantastic, it’s an honour to receive this, especially this year and the support I’ve had just adds to all of that really.”

Andy was a corporal in 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, where he served 13 years before his injury and has won several awards such as the Overcoming Adversity Award in 2010 in the Millies and the first ever Pride of St Helens Award.

In 2010 he became a volunteer ambassador and fundraiser for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and has committed his life to raising awareness and fundraising for amputees, both civilian and military.

Throughout his fundraising he has raised more than £100,000 for the charity and taken on unbelievable challenges to help others.