July 30, 2010
My condolences have been sent to the families and friends of these fine young men.
This brings Australia's death toll in Afghanistan to 20.
The Army Chaplin Jim Cosgrove wrote a poem and created a photo montage of our brave and fallen heroes in their memory. Please read it the link is as follows: http://www.army.gov.au/LestWeF.....rget20.pdf
Rest easy, Lest we forget.
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Two more Australians killed in Afghanistan
21 August 2010
The Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, Acting Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley and the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie announce the tragic deaths of Private Grant Kirby and Private Tomas Dale in an incident in Afghanistan involving the Mentoring Task Force.
Two Australian soldiers from the Brisbane-based 6th Battalion have tragically lost their lives when they were struck by an Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan.
Private Tomas Dale, 21, and Private Grant Kirby, 35 were killed while providing over-watch for an operation by fellow members of their patrol in the Baluchi Valley.
Dale and Kirby had left their Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle, when they were struck by the explosive device.
Two other Australian soldiers were wounded in the attack however their wounds are not considered life-threatening. The pair received immediate care and were aero-medically evacuated to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) hospital in Tarin Kot.
The incident occurred at approximately 10.30 yesterday morning (Friday, 20 August), Afghanistan time. This brings the number of Australians killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 to 20, nine of which have happened this year. One-hundred and forty-seven soldiers have now been wounded in combat.
It was both soldiers' first deployment to Afghanistan. Private Kirby, a father of two, had previously served in East Timor and Iraq.
"The deaths of Privates Dale and Kirby so soon after the recent death of Trooper Jason Brown is a tragic reminder of the dangerous and courageous work that our Defence Force people undertake every day," said Acting Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley.
"Twenty Australian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan yet despite their loss, their comrades remain very committed to our mission and to honouring the sacrifice of their fallen mates.
"Each and every incident like this is felt very deeply throughout the Defence family and particularly in the Army. I have spoken to the Chief of the Defence Force and on behalf of Air Chief Marshal Houston and the Defence family, I extend out deepest sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of these two fine soldiers. I want them to know that they have our full support, especially during the difficult days that lie ahead and I ask you to respect their privacy as they grieve."
Defence Minister John Faulkner says Australia has lost two fine soldiers.
"Improvised explosive devices such as the one that took the lives of Privates Dale and Kirby and wounded our two other soldiers are awful weapons that kill indiscriminately - soldier and civilians alike.
"The weapons and tactics of the Taliban insurgency are vicious and they are insidious."
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, speaking at RAAF Base Richmond said the nation had "lost two very brave men."
"There are families in this nation today that have lost two men they love very much," Ms Gillard said.
"As prime minister, on behalf of the nation, I express my condolences to the families of Thomas Dale and Grant Kirby. They have received the worst news families could get.
"This is a big burden for our nation to bear. This is a big burden for the men and women of the Defence Force to bear."
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...
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