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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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SAS trooper honoured with the VC
Friday, January 16, 2009 » 07:06pm


A Perth-based SAS trooper has become the first Australian in 40 years to win the Victoria Cross for valour, the highest Commonwealth military honour.

The Governor General and the nation's most senior militray officers and politicians have paid tribute to Trooper Mark Donaldson at a ceremony at Government House in Canberra.

The VC was awarded to Trooper Donaldson for acts of gallantry in Afghanistan last year.

Trooper Donaldson receiver the award for his rescue of a coalition forces interpreter from heavy fire in Oruzgan Province in Afghanistan.

The award for exceptional bravery is the 96th Victoria Cross to be conferred on an Australian soldier.

The investiture at Government House, attended by Governor-General Quentin Bryce and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, on Friday was told that on numerous occasions Trooper Donaldson deliberately drew enemy fire in order to allow wounded soldiers to be removed to safety.

'As the battle raged around him he saw that the coalition force interpreter was lying motionless on exposed ground,' the governor-general's official secretary Stephen Brady told the gathering.

'With complete disregard for his own safety on his own initiative and alone, Trooper Donaldson ran back 80 metres across exposed ground to rescue the interpreter and carry him back to a vehicle.

'Trooper Donaldson then rejoined his patrol and then continued to engage the enemy while remaining exposed to heavy enemy fire.'

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the award as 'truly historic'.

'Trooper Donaldson's bravery will forever be engraved in Australian history,' the Prime Minister said.

'Generations of schoolchildren will now know of the story of Trooper Mark Donaldson.'

'Trooper Donaldson's courage and selflessness in the face of such unspeakable danger is not only a great tribute to him and his family - it epitomises the spirit of the Aussie Digger.'

'The soldiers that he saved will be forever indebted to him. The nation will be forever indebted to him.'

Ross

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 01:56 AM
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That was courageous. People like him are rare.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 12:22 PM
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Very good.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 01:37 PM
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To waste the bravery and lives of such men in a pointless, useless war is a great tragedy.

One does not fault the tool for the incompetence of the wielder.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 01:59 PM
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Two years ago, while on a layover in Paris, I rented a car and drove up to Normandy. Once there I spent a few hours walking the beaches, bomb craters and destroyed gun emplacements. Then I ended my time there by walking through the American Cemetery, which is located on a cliff, overlooking Omaha Beach. My eyes didn't remain dry for long, as I knew I was walking on holy ground. Then I started to think about the lost potential of all those who had given their lives in defense of our way of life. It was a sobering thought. I was a military man for 34 years, and I think it was actually in those moments that my whole outlook on war changed. What a total waste of potential. Perhaps one of the guys resting there might have gone on to discover the cure for cancer, AIDS, or any of the myriad of other diseases afflicting man. However, it's in war, where we show not only our worst side, but our best side also. Given the choice though, I'd prefer we were all mediocre, and lived in peace.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 02:02 PM
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^^
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 02:14 PM
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I once saved a kitten from drowning.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 02:27 PM
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I once saved a kitten from drowning.
That's because your cheap and you wanted your plastic bag back that kitty was in.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 02:28 PM
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That's because your cheap and you wanted your plastic bag back that kitty was in.
So???? LOL.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 02:34 PM
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Ross there's so much I could say about your boys when it comes to battle, I've meet dozen's of Australians I'd pin a VC on.
Hussar! for Trooper Donaldson!
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