Ballymena South councillor, Beth Adger said Kylie – a former pupil of Harryville Primary and Ballee High School – had made “everyone very proud”.
“This is a tremendous honour and everyone here shares in her family’s immense pride.
“This is another boost for the many families here who have sons and daughters serving in Afghanistan,” said Cllr Adger who added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with them all out there for their courage, bravery and their safety”.
Ballymena North councillor, John Carson said: “As a former member of the Armed Forces and the Council representative on the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association I am immensely proud of Lance Corporal Kylie Watson for her bravery and courage.
“The entire community in Ballymena is pleased to see this local girl’s bravery recognised.
“Kylie has served her country and home town proud.” he said.
David Tweed, Councillor for Ballymena South, said: “Words can’t describe the commitment and bravery that Kylie has shown.
“She’s a Ballymena South girl and speaking to people on the ground there, they are immensely proud of her and absolutely thrilled for her as, I’m sure, everyone is throughout the borough.
“It is hard for people back home to understand what it is like for those serving out there and particularly difficult for us to imagine what Kylie went through as she selflessly put her life in danger to try and save these men. My best wishes and congratulations to Kylie and her family,” he said.
North Antrim MP Ian Paisley added: “This is a great honour for Kylie and her family. This award recognises her heroism, bravery and selﬂess devotion to helping others.
“This story, whilst making us proud of our armed forces, reminds us of the dangerous environment in which these brave men and women work. We should always remember their sacrifice in defence of democracy and salute their courage.”
TUV Leader Jim Allister said of Kylie: “The attainment of such a prestigious award is fitting tribute to her bravery, as recorded in the citation.
“Selflessly exposing herself to mortal danger, not once but twice, in order to help others demonstrated great courage. Too often we take for granted what our military personnel do on our behalf, but when you hear of such singular courage it brings a sense of pride not just to the military themselves and their families but the communities from which they come.
“I’m sure the Watson family are rightly proud of Kylie and, indeed, the wider Ballymena community will take pride in her being honoured in this way.”
In a joint statement, North Antrim Ulster Unionist Assembly candidates, Robin Swann and Bill Kennedy said: “We warmly congratulate L/Cpl Watson on more than earning one of the highest awards for bravery which the British Army can bestow, after treating a wounded Afghan soldier while under fire from the Taliban.
“In receiving the Military Cross, she has brought tremendous honour to herself, her family, her regiment, the borough of Ballymena and her country.”