The ANZACs are not dead

The old warrior genes are still there. It is unusual for someone of such a senior rank to lead his men from the front. Major is the highest field rank. This is probably a good moment to remember another heroic Australian of that ilk, Major Peter Badcoe, VC

A QUEENSLANDER and former Australian Digger has forged a name for himself while serving with the British Army in Afghanistan, earning the Military Cross for gallantry. Major Mike Aston was awarded the third-highest award for bravery for leading his company through three months on the front-lines under "some of the most intense close combat the British Army has experienced for some years".

Major Aston, who spent 11 years with the Australian Army at Duntroon, said he was "speechless" when he received the award. "It was unique for a company out there to do so many things," he said. "During our time we were moving around doing a lot of strike operations. "We were a very aggressive company, always on the front foot, and we took the fight to the enemy . . . and sadly did suffer a number of casualties."

Major Aston grew up in Toowoomba, 200km west of Brisbane, and entered the Australian Defence Force after completing high school at Centenary Heights State High. During his time in the Australian Defence Force he was awarded Soldier of the Year in 1990 and was nominated for the Sword of Honour.

His mother, Yvonne Aston, told The Courier-Mail she always knew her son would achieve in the army but was worried about him while he was fighting in Afghanistan. "It was very tense because several men in his battalion were killed, first his (second-in-command) and then another major was killed, which upset him," she said. "That was the only time I was worried about him."

She said he had come a long way since his early days in the Australian Army. "I can remember him sneaking off and ringing me and saying it was so hard." Major Aston is now serving as a staff officer with a UK armoured division in northwest Germany.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

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