Shopping soldier reacts: "Thanks for the support!"

The shopping soldier that ended up in the eye of the storm on social media after being pictured in Brussels with a carrier bag, has reacted to the incident for the first time. He thanks everyone who supported him, and who will stand behind him during his suspension.

The photo of a patrolling soldier who did some shopping while on duty, was a hit on social media. However, it was the media attention that urged the army to react, and to suspend the man. This led to indignation, with quite a number of people expressing their support for the man on the eve of Christmas.

One of them was David Antoine, a radio presenter for the Walloon chain Radio Contact. He started a campaign on Facebook to support the soldier. The man has written him a personal note of thanks. This note has now been released. He says that hardly anybody knows who he is, not even his friends.

He adds that senior officials at the army are now behind him, thanks to the massive number of positive reactions and expressions of support by the public. This being said, he still expects a sanction to be taken against him. The man has been temporarily suspended after the incident.