Fallen Kiwi soldiers start journey home (PHOTOS)
Wed, 22 Aug 2012 11:52a.m.
The three New Zealand soldiers killed by a bomb in Afghanistan on Sunday have started their journey home.
A special ceremony was held at Bagram Air Base where the bodies of Corporal Luke Tamatea, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker and Private Richard Harris were carried onto an Australian Air Force aircraft.
They were killed when an IED bomb with 20 kilograms of explosives blew up the Humvee they were travelling in.
They were part of a four-vehicle convoy transferring a patient to a nearby hospital.
Key figures from the coalition, including US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, paid their respects at the ceremony.
NZPRT senior military adviser Lieutenant Colonel Pete Hall said in a statement released after the Bagram ceremony that Cpl Tamatea, Lance Cpl Baker and Pte Harris were "cut short by a cowardly act".
"They survived the Battle of Baghak (a fortnight earlier) where they fought honourably and bravely alongside their mates, tended the wounds of those that required care and arranged for their safe evacuation - comradeship," Lt Col Hall said."They set the example for our Afghan partners on how to perform their duties in a professional and honest way
The three soldiers will be transferred onto a New Zealand Hercules plane in Australia and is expected to arrive in Christchurch tomorrow.
View photos of the ceremony
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22/08/2012 5:05:02 p.m.
Afghanistan was a mess before, is a mess now, and will be a mess in years to come.
22/08/2012 2:33:18 p.m.
what a waste of life
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