6 March 2009

The true life story of a modern English hero

Killed in the line of duty.

For Queen, Country and those of us back home, which specifically includes their friends and familes.

My God bless those children left behind and the children of others who have been left fatherless because of their sacrifice for their fellow country men and women.

The enemy is no longer over there in some foreign land where British troops are stationed, they are living amongst us, and blended into our societies pretending to be the same as us.

21st Century warfare.

Daily Mail

Bomb disposal expert blown up by Taliban awarded second George Medal as 178 heroes are honoured for Bravery

A bomb-disposal expert killed by the Taliban yesterday became one of Britain's most decorated soldiers when he was awarded his second George Medal.

Described as 'bigger than life and brave as a lion', Sergeant Major Gary O'Donnell died in Afghanistan last September when a Taliban booby-trap device exploded as he approached it to try to clear a safe path for his comrades.

It is the first time in almost 30 years that a soldier has received a second George Medal, which after the George Cross, is the highest award for heroism not in the presence of the enemy.

Sgt Maj O'Donnell, 40, from Edinburgh, had defused more than 50 bombs by the time he was killed, a month short of returning from a tour of duty in Helmand Province.

His second George Medal was in recognition of two particular incidents when he placed himself in 'immense personal danger' according to his citation.

Last May he was called in to deal with a single booby-trap bomb close to a coalition firing position in the Upper Gereshk Valley.

He defused the device, but his long years of experience left him suspicious that the Taliban might have planted more.

Working alone in roasting 40C heat he searched for nine hours and uncovered seven deadly bombs - a highly unusual concentration.

Some had anti-tamper devices specifically designed to kill bomb-disposal experts, and all the time Sgt Maj O'Donnell was working in full view of the enemy.

His citation stated: 'To have the mental fortitude and physical stamina to uncover and defuse seven devices is a staggering feat.'

Two months later he was called in to deal with a roadside bomb which was blocking a convoy route, leaving large numbers of his comrades stationary and increasingly vulnerable in hostile territory.

He worked solidly for 24 hours and found 11 devices. One was controlled by a command wire and as he approached the Taliban tried to set it off.

He survived only because the bomb failed to go off properly. Despite the fact that the Taliban were clearly watching him, he carried on working.

Sgt Major O'Donnell's widow Toni, 40, will collect the posthumous award on his behalf from the Queen at a Buckingham Palace ceremony later this year. The couple's youngest child Ben was born just nine weeks before Sgt Maj O'Donnell was killed last September.

They had three other children: Cayleigh, 16, Dylan, 14, and eight-year-old Aidan.
In an emotional interview yesterday, Mrs O'Donnell said: 'You cannot describe the feelings I have. I am so proud of him.

Continue reading: Brave as a Lion


Anonymous said...

These are the sort of men we cannot afford to lose. Gos bless his family

Anonymous said...

I heard David Milliband being interviewed about the state of the Afghan/Pakistan situation.
Pakistan tribal areas are slipping fast towards Sharia/Talibanisation.
The Taliban inspired/backed attacks on the Allied troops are now being matched by their attacks on internal taregets in Pakistan.
Pakistan is fast becoming the new battle front for the radical Shariaists.
Whilst their relatives flock from England for training in guerrrilla war, learning their skills attacking British/Allied troops on the Afghan battle zones, the home-grown terrorist are atacking soft targets such as the Shri-Lankan cricket team who were nearly buthered in another "Mumbai-style" raid by heavily armed Islamic terroriats.
The West encouraged the removal of General Moucharif from office, and now Pakistan is reaping the rewards of disposing of military control.
As they are allowing parts of Pakistan to become Sharia controlled areas, instead of the hoped for truce with the Islamic terrorists, the pay-off for this weakness is Pakistan becoming a pariah-State.
The epi-centre of terrorism.
Afghanistan is becoming a side-show.
Nuclear armed Pakistan is now the prize for the Islamic terror mongers, and the West will be next in the firing line along with India.
Their are 40,000 Pakistani origin in Luton.
If only one in a hundred of them are inclined toward radical-Islamic terrorism, that would be a ready made army of 400 radicalised individuals ready for civil-war, when the time is right.
I think the official figures point to many more than one in a hundred as radical sympathisers.
To them, it is not considetred radical, to seek the destruction of the West, or Eastern non-Muslim States, it is the very command of their highest authority.

miles said...

All I can think to say is I know God holds a place for people such as him that gave his own life to try to make the world a better place.may his family find comfort knowing this.