By Fiona McIntosh, in the Sunday Mirror in Britain:
Sarah Bryant death is yet another wasted life
Ever since she was a little girl, Sarah Bryant dreamed of serving in the British Army.
She grew up with stories of heroic wars when brave men and women put their lives on the line to defend their country. Joining the Army and fighting for a great cause meant everything to Sarah.
Except by the time she saw active service, Sarah was sent off to fight a different kind of war: the messy, indiscriminate, political “war on terror” that followed no rules. Battling to control insurgents in Afghanistan was once famously described as being “like sweeping – water uphill” – no matter how hard you push, it always trickles back.
Yet Sarah and other bright, beautiful young men and women continue to be shipped out there to risk their lives in a war that most of us don’t understand or ever had a chance to sanction.
Looking at the photographs of this radiant, special girl have brought the horror of these god-awful wars home. When a roadside Taliban bomb blew up Sarah and three other young soldiers she tragically became the first British female soldier to be killed in Afghanistan. …
How many more of our best and brightest young men and women have to be blown to bits before a decision is made that enough is enough? Gordon Brown says British servicemen are fighting “the noblest of causes”, but what exactly is that cause? Throwing young lives away in a country that’s been wracked with insurgency for decades?
With 230 more British troops due to be sent to Afghanistan soon, we owe it to these heroic men and women to explain why we are still there and when on Earth it will ever end.
Anyone who had the guts to get them in there, now needs the guts to get them out.
First women to die in Afghanistan was travelling in vehicle that was ‘not adequate for the job’: here.
Four soldiers including Cpl Sarah Bryant, the first female to die in Afghanistan, were unlawfully killed after troops were given “inadequate” training, a coroner has ruled: here.
Afghanistan: naming the dead ceremony in Swindon: here.
Female soldier’s inquest to open
2:49am Monday 1st March 2010
An inquest is due to resume into the deaths of the first female soldier to be killed in Afghanistan and three comrades who died alongside her.
Cumbria-born Corporal Sarah Bryant, of the Intelligence Corps – described by her family as their own Angel of the North – was killed while taking part in an operation east of Lashkar Gah when her Land Rover was hit by a mine on June 17 2008.
She died with three Territorial Army special forces soldiers, Corporal Sean Robert Reeve, 28, of the Royal Signals, Lance Corporal Richard Larkin, 39, and Trooper Paul Stout, 31.
An inquest into their deaths will resume at Wiltshire Coroner’s Court, sitting at Trowbridge Town Hall.
Cpl Bryant had been in the Army for six years and was based in Bedfordshire with the Psychological Operations Group.
She deployed to Afghanistan on March 15 2008 with 152 Delta Psychological Operations Effects Team in support of the Helmand Task Force within the PSE, serving with the Headquarters of 16 Air Assault Brigade as the Target Audience Analyst. She had also served in Iraq.
Cpl Bryant’s Army officer husband, Corporal Carl Bryant, to whom she had been married just two years, said after her death: “Although I am devastated beyond words at the death of my beautiful wife, Sarah, I am so incredibly proud of her.
“She was an awesome soldier who died doing the job that she loved.
“My wife knew the risks. She was there because she wanted to be, and she wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
The inquest is expected to last six days.
See also here.
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