Thursday, July 06, 2006

Shields soldier killed

"A fine upstanding Shields lad"

Private Damien Raymond Jackson would have celebrated his 20th. birthday on Saturday but sadly he was killed in a firefight while on patrol near the town of Sangin in Afghanistan's Helmand province. The Sunderland season ticket holder and his unit from the 3 Para Battle Group, A Company were trying to clear a helicopter landing site when they were ambushed and came under heavy Taliban fire on Wednesday morning.

His father Daniel slammed government policy in a statement released through The Ministry of Defence saying it "placed our young men and women in such dreadful danger". He added;

"I wish everyone to know just how extremely proud I am of my son Damien - of all that he has achieved in his lifetime and of the fact that he died, when duty called, protecting others, in the service of his country.
A fine, upstanding South Shields lad, Damien was immensely proud to have achieved his ultimate ambition in becoming a member of the finest regiment in the British Army.
He will be missed and fondly remembered by everyone who knew him.
My family and I are desolated at this news but we will strive to seek inspiration from the example of his courage.
We fully support the British Army in Afghanistan whilst in no way supporting or condoning a Government policy which has placed our young men and women in such dreadful danger."

The news that Defence Secretary Des Browne is considering beefing up the U.K. armed presence in the area comes a little too late for the families of the six British servicemen killed in southern Afghanistan in recent weeks. Curly has the dreadful feeling that he knew this young man as an ocassional visitor to his local watering hole, along with fellow squaddies trained at Catterick.


The Shields Gazette
BBC News.

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