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Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Page: 7578


Mr ROBERT (Fadden) (14:09): I join the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Defence Minister in honouring the fallen Sergeant Todd Langley, tragically killed in action in Afghanistan on Monday. I also extend my best wishes to the Australian commando who was wounded in action.

Sergeant Langley was 35 years old, a family man and a decorated and professional soldier on his seventh operational tour—his fifth in Afghanistan. Proven in battle numerous times, he had sacrificed much for our nation during his military service. He has now paid the ultimate price. Sergeant Langley wore the coveted green beret, with its famed dagger and the commando motto 'without warning' proudly displayed. His life in Afghanistan was lived daily in the rugged desert and the populated green zones. His job was to strike swiftly and without warning, many times grossly outnumbered on ground not of his choosing, trusting implicitly the man fighting beside him. His gear was always heavy; his rest was always short. Man of his ilk are rare—men who every day and night go out on patrol to disrupt, dismantle and destroy the insurgency. This was what Sergeant Langley did, and this is how he died—in combat, fighting beside his mates. It can be only a very small comfort that Sergeant Langley died a soldier's death. Whilst we sleep, men like Sergeant Langley will continue to watch, engage and fight those who would do us harm. They know the great dangers, yet believe in the rightness of this cause. Tonight more men will go out to fight and more tomorrow night. That is what our special forces do.

To Sergeant Langley's family, I offer my heartfelt sympathy. Not a day went by when Todd did not think of you and love you. Like so many soldiers, he would have shown your pictures to his mates. He would have talked incessantly of how proud he was of you, and he would have bragged about your achievements. Todd laid down his life fighting for something larger than himself—to deliver a world free from the horror of extremism. He would have agonised over every time he left you to fight, but that was who he was. He was a commando and he would not let his nation down, and I know our nation will not let his family down. As our troops continue to fight, we must all hold our nerve. For those who have fought their last fight, we honour you.

The SPEAKER: As a mark of respect, I ask all members and all present to signify their approval by rising in their places.

Honourable members and all present having stood in their places—

The SPEAKER: I thank the House and all present.