SERGEANT Mick Riley, 33, of Wallasey, has arrived home from Iraq with the MBE he collected from Buckingham Palace before deployment.
The Wallasey soldier spent six months in burning temperatures while providing logistical support for soldiers mentoring and training the Iraqi army.
Mick collected his MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in May for helping to raise awareness of testicular cancer.
After successfully recovering from the illness when he was 21, Mick helped to launch website - www.checkemlads.com
- which gives practical advice to men about the signs of testicular cancer.
Mick said: “We have received a lot of good feedback and some doctors have actually told us that the advice we give on the website has meant that some men have noticed the signs of cancer earlier saving their lives.”
The site which gets around 300 hits a week has just been granted charitable status so it can raise funds to extend its work.
The former Mosslands School pupil said: “It was a great honour to receive the MBE but a surreal experience meeting the Queen at the Palace just before going to Iraq.
“I was in the middle of a heavy training regime for the mission and then had to somehow put all of that out of my mind and prepare to meet the Queen knowing full well that I would be going to Iraq shortly afterwards.”
Mick, whose parents still live in Wallasey, has been on three Iraq tours and served in Kosovo, Bosnia, Denmark, Norway, Canada and Cyprus since he joined the army in 1991.
Lieutenant Colonel Eddie Corrigan, Commanding Officer of his regiment, 2LSR, paid tribute to the work his soldiers did over the summer.
He said: “The regiment has collectively changed the face of Iraq and have made astounding progress.
“I couldn’t be prouder of what they have achieved and it has been an absolute privilege to command them.”
Mick added: “It’s great to be back home, I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my wife and three children and having a nice family Christmas.”
well done Mick