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Thursday, 7 July 2011
Page: 8097


Mr CLARE (BlaxlandMinister for Defence Materiel) (11:16): Sergeant Todd Langley was a highly experienced Special Forces soldier. This was his fifth tour of Afghanistan. He also deployed twice to East Timor. He was also a decorated soldier. In 2002 and 2008 he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service. In 2006 he was also awarded a Unit Citation for Gallantry. In Afghanistan, he was a leader of very special men, the men of the Special Operations Task Group. At home, he was a father of four even more special people—three young daughters and a son. I want to extend my sincere condolences to each of them, to his wife, Reigan, and to his mum and dad, Val and Neville. Nothing that we say here can bring back a father, a husband and a son. But we can say thank you. Thank you for devoting your adult life to serving us. Thank you for doing everything you could to make this world safer than it is. Thank you for, time and again, going back to Afghanistan to do this.

On Monday, another Special Forces soldier was also wounded. I take this opportunity to wish him a swift and strong recovery. He is one of 182 soldiers who have been wounded in Afghanistan since 2002. This is a long and difficult war. Much of its burden has been borne by the men of our Special Forces. It has also been borne by the families of the men and women we send overseas. They are as strong and brave as the men and women they love, and they often bear the heaviest burden—none more so than the family of Sergeant Todd Langley. We are forever in debt to him, as we are to the more than 100,000 Australians who have lost their lives serving this country over more than a century, all around the world. Lest we forget.