Skip to comments.V(ictoria) C(ross) hero Cameron Baird's mum and dad remember their fallen son...
Posted on 04/20/2014 6:32:41 AM PDT by naturalman1975
KAYE and Doug Baird, the parents of VC hero Cameron Baird, talk for the first time about their son, his extraordinary bravery under fire and how they would give his medals back if they could only see the broad crease of his smile again.
IT was a Saturday night less than a year ago when Kaye Baird heard the doorbell ring.
She hadnt been expecting visitors, and husband Doug had already settled on the couch to watch the footy.
She cant recall exactly what shed been doing - but what happened next is something they will both never forget.
Three men in military uniforms stood on their front porch. The dark security screen hid their grim faces.
The trio didnt have a chance to say anything when the door opened. They didnt have to.
Mrs Baird stumbled back, her hands to her face.
No, no, no, no, no. Not Cameron. Not my boy.
It was June 22, 2013. The 4274th day of the Allied campaign in Afghanistan.
The day the 40th and last Australian soldier was killed in the conflict.
It was early in his army career, during a short stint home, that Mrs Baird recalls a quiet conversation.
Cameron, this is your mother talking, she said, her hands on his face.
We dont want a dead hero. We want you to come home.
He told her not to worry. It wouldnt come to that.
Mrs Baird is pretty sure its the only promise her son ever broke.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...
On my profile page, you can see my tribute to all the Australian and New Zealand troops who have died serving their nations in the War on Terror.
Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird MG
For the most conspicuous acts of valour, extreme devotion to duty and ultimate self-sacrifice at Ghawchak village, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan as a Commando Team Commander in Special Operations Task Group on Operation SLIPPER.
Corporal Cameron Baird enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 2000, was discharged in 2004, and re-enlisted in 2006. In both periods of service, he was assigned to the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Commando). His operational service includes Operations TANAGER, FALCONER, BASTILLE and five tours on Operation SLIPPER. He was awarded the Medal for Gallantry for his service in Afghanistan in 2007-08.
On 22 June 2013, a Commando Platoon of the Special Operations Task Group, with partners from the Afghan National Security Forces, conducted a helicopter assault into Ghawchak village, Uruzgan Province, in order to attack an insurgent network deep within enemy-held territory. Shortly after insertion, Corporal Bairds team was engaged by small arms fire from several enemy positions. Corporal Baird quickly seized the initiative, leading his team to neutralise the positions, killing six enemy combatants and enabling the assault to continue.
Soon afterwards, an adjacent Special Operations Task Group team came under heavy enemy fire, resulting in its commander being seriously wounded. Without hesitation, Corporal Baird led his team to provide support. En route, he and his team were engaged by rifle and machine gun fire from prepared enemy positions. With complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Baird charged towards the enemy positions, supported by his team. On nearing the positions, he and his team were engaged by additional enemy on their flank. Instinctively, Corporal Baird neutralised the new threat with grenades and rifle fire, enabling his team to close with the prepared position. With the prepared position now isolated, Corporal Baird manoeuvred and was engaged by enemy machine gun fire, the bullets striking the ground around him. Displaying great valour, he drew the fire, moved to cover, and suppressed the enemy machine gun position. This action enabled his team to close on the entrance to the prepared position, thus regaining the initiative.
On three separate occasions Corporal Baird charged an enemy-held building within the prepared compound. On the first occasion he charged the door to the building, followed by another team member. Despite being totally exposed and immediately engaged by enemy fire, Corporal Baird pushed forward while firing into the building. Now in the closest proximity to the enemy, he was forced to withdraw when his rifle ceased to function. On rectifying his rifle stoppage, and reallocating remaining ammunition within his team, Corporal Baird again advanced towards the door of the building, once more under heavy fire. He engaged the enemy through the door but was unable to suppress the position and took cover to reload. For a third time, Corporal Baird selflessly drew enemy fire away from his team and assaulted the doorway. Enemy fire was seen to strike the ground and compound walls around Corporal Baird, before visibility was obscured by dust and smoke. In this third attempt, the enemy was neutralised and the advantage was regained, but Corporal Baird was killed in the effort.
Corporal Bairds acts of valour and self-sacrifice regained the initiative and preserved the lives of his team members. His actions were of the highest order and in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.
Prayers Up... Well Done, RIP