Ceremony Farewells Digger Mate From Afghanistan

08 January 2009

In a solemn ceremony attended by the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Angus Houston, and the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon MP, the body of Private (PTE) Greg Sher was farewelled from the Middle East by Australian troops.

PTE Sher was killed by a rocket fired by Taliban insurgents against an Oruzgan provincial patrol base on Sunday 4 January.

ACM Houston said PTE Sher was well regarded by his colleagues and mates in the Special Operations Task Group and 1st Commando Regiment.

“The loss of Greg is a reminder of the sacrifice that Defence personnel make in the service of their nation,” ACM Houston said.

“It is also a time for us to remember PTE Sher’s family. They deserve our respect, our support and our admiration.”

Following the ceremony, PTE Sher’s casket was carried on to a RAAF C-17 aircraft for his final journey home.

Commander of Australian troops in the Middle East, Major General (MAJGEN) Mike Hindmarsh, said PTE Sher’s death was a sad loss.

“Here was a digger doing his bit, doing what he wanted to do and he has made the ultimate sacrifice. This loss is felt by his mates and all of us across the Task Force,” MAJGEN Hindmarsh said.

MAJGEN Hindmarsh said the Special Operations Task Group would be continuing with their operations against Taliban insurgents, something that PTE Sher would have wanted his mates to do.

Earlier, a ceremony was held in Tarin Kowt. In the biting cold of the Afghanistan winter, Australian personnel and their Coalition allies stood unwavering as they farewelled Private Sher.

Details on the arrival of the body of Private Greg Sher in Australia will be provided when they are confirmed.

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