SAS Signaller Sean Patrick McCarthy - In the fight against evil

Courier Mail - SPECIAL Air Service Signaller Sean McCarthy has been farewelled by his comrades after being killed in action in Afghanistan last week. At a solemn service at Australia's Tarin Kowt base, the respected 25-year-old soldier was given the highest of praise. "He died bravely doing his duty in a high risk environment," an unnamed senior SAS soldier said in a Department of Defence statement. "It was a soldier's death. "Importantly, his loss, whilst tragic, was not in vain. "He fought and died for the enduring values of freedom and justice."

SMH - Born in New Zealand, the soldier spent seven years proudly serving his adopted homeland, before an improvised roadside bomb took his life while on patrol in troubled southern Afghanistan. It was his second tour of duty there, split by a stint in East Timor. The bombers, probably the Taliban, made it his last. The McCarthy family - his parents Dave and Mary, his sisters Leigh and Clare - have said Sean Patrick loved his middle name, and he loved his job. He found a career he was passionate about. The 25-year-old is the sixth Australian to have died serving in Afghanistan, and the second this year. Just last month, he was commended for his actions during his first tour. At the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church on the Gold Coast yesterday, the army showed its respect.

The flag-draped casket arrived on a gun carriage, topped with a slouch hat, flowers and a card which read: "A brave and determined man with a heart of gold, we love you and miss you already Seano. Thanks for the good times our friend and hero." A piper played as members of his Special Air Service regiment carried the coffin. Hundreds had come, to say goodbye and to pay their respects. The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson, were there. So too was the Chief of Army, Lieutenant-General Ken Gillespie.The congregation heard of a respected, selfless, courageous soldier, of a devoted son and brother, of someone who preferred the quiet respect of his peers to public glory.

Chaplain Gary Stone said: "Sean Patrick McCarthy has given his life in a just cause, in the fight against evil." After the service, his casket was taken to Southport Lawn Cemetery for a private burial. There, the Last Post was to be played, before a minute's silence, a volley of gunfire and the presentation of the flag, slouch hat and his medals to his family. Signalman Sean Patrick McCarthy's name will join the names of thousands of other military personnel who have sacrificed their lives in conflict, cast in bronze on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Thank you and Rest in Peace.

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