War hero is honoured by the Palace
By Lesley Houston
Lieutenant Colonel Dave Kenny is presented with his OBE by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace
Somewhat belatedly, I’ve learned that Major (now Lieutenant Colonel) Dave Kenny has been honoured by the Palace. It’s good to see him with a bit of colour in his face.
“BY MID AUGUST, sustaining the soldiers manning the beleaguered temporary checkpoints had become the main focus for the battlegroup and almost all our resources and energy were invested in this activity.
Supporting 90 odd men behind enemy lines was an enormous operation, the details of which were coordinated by our Chief of Staff, Major Dave Kenney.
Each morning Dave would hold a meeting around the bird table – a makeshift table on which a large satellite image of the district had been pasted, affording us literally a bird’s eye view of our AO. This was overlaid with various traces, showing details such as operations boxes, interdiction boundaries, no fire lines and other information vital to military operations.
Standing around the table, Dave would receive a brief from each of the branch heads outlining the issues and concerns they were dealing with. He might then ask a few questions before giving further guidance and instructions. Unlike the Commanding Officer who never betrayed his emotions, Dave wore his heart on his sleeve and his worry and concern for the men on the ground was obvious for all to see. He rarely left the headquarters for more than a minute or two and his personal contribution to British American Tobacco revenues had reached record levels. Before our very eyes, Dave was growing pale and thin in the service of his country. The smokes, the lack of sleep and the stress were getting to him. He looked a wreck but steadfastly soldiered on without complaint.
I wondered if some of his anxiety was caused by scepticism about the plan. But if he shared my misgivings he never revealed this to me. It’s possible that he raised his concerns with Colonel James in private, as I had done myself, but in front of the staff he never expressed anything other than his loyalty to the Commanding Officer and an utter commitment to the mission.”
SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the true story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.