Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex has been the guest of honour at a ceremony to celebrate Armed Forces Day.
The Countess presented army medics with medals in recognition of their service in Afghanistan at Newcastle's Exhibition Park.
Members of the Territorial Army's 201 (Northern) Field Hospital spent three months there earlier this year. Lieutenant Colonel Mark Townend says it is a proud day.
The Countess was welcomed to Tyneside by the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear, Nigel Sherlock, who also presented Diamond Jubilee medals to members of the armed forces, cadets and the emergency services.
Events are taking place across the region to mark Armed Forces Day. A parade and service is taking place in Hartlepool in honour of all those who have served or are serving. In Redcar, there will be a parade and a fly-past and in County Durham,** **soldiers from D (Rifles) Company, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, will be given the freedom of Spennymoor.
The government too has paid tribute to those who serve their country.
– Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary
On Armed Forces Day the community of serving personnel, reservists, cadets and veterans and their families are at the forefront of our thoughts.
The day is a simple way of saying thank you to the Armed Forces for all they do for the country, whether that is on home soil or whether that is on frontline operations in Afghanistan.
Our Armed Forces make many sacrifices for their country and showing our support for them on this day demonstrates the high esteem in which we hold the Armed Forces and all their endeavours.