A soldier's dying plea to his mates: take care of my family
ELLEN LUTTON AND DAVID BARBELERJune 20, 2010
Casualties ... Sapper Darren Smith and Australian bomb detector dog Herbie were killed on June 7 at Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan.
AS SAPPER Darren Smith lay dying in Afghanistan, his sole concern was for his wife and young son.
As his mates carried him back to base in the 20 minutes that followed a lethal bomb blast, Sapper Smith spoke only of his wife, Angela, and their 2½⁄-year-old son, Mason.
About 300 mourners gathered at Marist Brothers College at Ashgrove in Brisbane yesterday to farewell Sapper Smith, a 26-year-old combat engineer fatally wounded in a roadside bomb blast on June 7.
Sapper Jacob Moerland, 21, and Sapper Smith's bomb detector dog, Herbie,were also killed.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Lord Mayor Campbell Newman joined mourners.
As the hearse drove away, Mr Rudd got down on one knee to comfort and offer his condolences to Mrs Smith.
Sapper Smith's favourite band, the Herd, flew from Sydney at their own expense to play an emotional rendition of Redgum's I Was Only Nineteen for the funeral....
Go read the rest of the story about this young Aussie hero, and father, here.