AN Iraq war veteran has spoken of his utter devastation at having his home ransacked by crooks as he attended a Christmas carol service with his children.
Brian Munden, 40, had campaign medals as well as jewellery and other belongings worth thousands stolen from his Edinburgh home just five days before Christmas.
The former RAF serviceman and his wife, Kerry, and two children came home from the school carol concert to find their home had been “tipped upside down” – and Christmas ruined.
Mr Munden, from Fauldhouse, West Lothian, said: “It’s just gutting, just so gutting. It’s just the invasion, that someone has been through our home and been in our stuff. It’s just horrible.”
Mr Munden added: “All of my wife’s jewellery was stolen. Her wedding ring, her engagement ring and a ring she got on her 18th birthday from her parents is gone.
“The kids stuff is gone too. There was Christmas money and vouchers for them taken.”
He added: ” “It’s just a reflection of society really, that’s the sad thing. People shouldn’t be doing it.
“The thing that makes it worse is that they took gifts for the children. They were marked from their granda, the knew they were for the grand-children.
“The presents were in gift bags and it said ‘from Granda’. They knew what they were doing.
“Being at Christmas just makes it more difficult.
“And the jewellery stolen from my wife. It was going to be handed onto my daughters one day, they just didn’t care.”
Mr Munden served with the RAF from 1990 as a logistics officer before retiring from the force in 2010 to work as a technical team leader for BSkyB.
He was stationed at several bases around the country including Kinloss and bases down in England.
His military medals including a campaign medal for serving in Iraq in 2006, a general service medal from when he served in Saudi Arabi in 2000 and the Queen’s Jubilee medal.
The family had been enjoying the carol service at nearby Whitburn Academy when the thieves struck.
Mr Munden added that the thieves probably will just throw away his military medals.
He said: “They wouldn’t be able to anything with the medals. They will just toss them away, toss them aside.
“It disappoints me more than anything. I don’t tend to get angry, I’m just disappointed. Sheer disappointment.
“I was proud of my medals and I’m proud to have been in the military but there are more important things out there.
“People are still serving out there and doing their job, some things are just more important.”
Lothian and Borders police are now urging anyone with information to come forward.
A police spokesman said: “The victims have been left very upset at the theft of these items, many of which have a great deal of sentimental value, while others were intended as Christmas presents.
“Officers have spent the past week conducting local enquiries to identify those responsible and we are now keen to hear from anyone who was in the area on the evening of the 20th December and believes they saw anything suspicious.
“Similarly, anyone who can help us trace those who carried out this theft is also asked to contact police immediately.”