Former soldier puts up his Military Cross on eBay

Monday, January 17, 2011

LONDON - A former British soldier is selling his Military Cross, awarded for his heroics in Afghanistan, on the auction website eBay.

Ranger Alan Owens, who served with the Royal Irish Regiment, was awarded the prestigious honour in March 2009 for developing “a level of empathy with the local population which no amount of fighting could establish”, the Daily Mail reported.

But it, along with other military medals and letters of congratulations, was Monday listed for sale on eBay under the title “real British military cross medal”.

The listing includes a starting bid of 25,000 pounds, with the option to “Buy It Now” for 100,000 pounds.

The citation, also included on the listing, reads: “Owens” role was to mentor the Afghan National Army (ANA), but his actions showed leadership and maturity well above that expected of his rank and experience.

“His presence fortified the ANA and galvanised their resolve, especially as light began to fade. Owens displayed courageous individual actions in the face of the enemy. He also demonstrated a clear grasp of the key principle of counterinsurgency.”

“By checking for civilian casualties, he engendered a level of empathy with the local population, which no amount of fighting could establish.”

A ministry of defence spokesman said Owens had now left the Army. He said: “The Military Cross has been awarded to him and he is free to do with it as he wishes.”

Owens said he did not want to discuss the sale of the medal.

Created in 1914, the Military Cross is the third highest medal awarded for gallantry in the face of the enemy on land, behind the Victoria Cross and the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

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