Dead soldier honoured for bravery
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 5:28a.m.
The brother of an SAS soldier who risked his life to help a comrade and later died while serving in Afghanistan will accept a prestigious prize on behalf of his sibling.
Lance Corporal Leon Smith will posthumously be awarded the Charles Upham Award for Bravery at a ceremony in Wellington this afternoon, a statement from Government House says.
In August 2011, Lance Corporal Smith, an advanced medic with the New Zealand SAS, was part of a group who responded to an attack on the British Council Office in the nation's capital Kabul.
During the attack the 33-year-old exposed himself to enemy gunfire to attend to fellow SAS soldier Corporal Doug Grant who was mortally wounded.
Lance Corporal Smith gave his comrade CPR but was unable to revive him.
The following month Lance Corporal Smith was killed in Afghanistan after being shot in the head during a combat operation.
Corporal Smith joined the New Zealand Army in 2005 and was selected for the SAS a year later.
He was on his second tour of duty when he died, having served in the country in 2010.
During a public service to farewell Lance Corporal Smith in October last year, Prime Minister John Key said: "He was brave, he was talented and he served New Zealand with pride".
The Charles Upham Award, which will be presented by the Governor-General, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, is awarded to just one person each year.
The award has been given to 23 other people since 1981.
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4/07/2012 3:03:50 p.m.
Thank you for serving our country HERO, you will always be remebered in our hearts and our thoughts AND WHILE YOU WITH GOD and his paradise say hello to my grand parents and six uncle were also served our country in the war..
3/07/2012 8:33:24 p.m.
Philip Sutton wrote:
Well done Leon.
3/07/2012 12:10:31 p.m.
You deserve it Leon.
3/07/2012 10:02:10 a.m.
A very fitting award for such a person, best of all it is an NZ award. I also still think that the family of Charles Upham sold him out when they sold his medals.
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