Pretoria - The South African Army has honoured its long serving members by awarding them medals as a token of appreciation.
Presenting the medals on Wednesday to members who spent 10 to 30 years in the service, Major General Vusi Masondo thanked them for their commitment and helping in peacekeeping missions.
Several medals were also awarded to members who served as ambassadors in the Great Lakes area, where the SA Army has made a major contribution to bringing about peace and stability.
The army's hard work paid off last year, when troops were withdrawn from Burundi because peace and stability had returned to that country.
Other members, who received medals, are also serving on the war-torn DRC and Sudan. In the DRC, the SA Army trained one of their battalions that has already contributed to the peace in that country.
One of the medal recipients, Major Alda Gilbert, 34, who received a medal for a 10-year service, told BuaNews that joining the Army was the best thing in her life.
"I have always wanted to be a soldier, I used to admire them when I was young," she said.
Major Gilbert has been with the SA National Defence Force since 1996. She said she would love to spend the rest of her life serving her country.
Meanwhile, the SA Army has also returned to the border areas and their presence there has already contributed to the curbing of illegal activities such as smuggling of vehicles and a large number of illegal immigrants have been caught.