Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tragic loss: Liam Tasker was on patrol with his dog Theo at the time of the attack in Nahr-e-Saraj, Afghanistan


In life, this brave British soldier, Lance Corporal Liam Tasker,
and his devoted dog "Theo" were inseparable.
Now, in death, they will rest by each other’s side always.

Serving in Afghanistan, the intepid pair uncovered 14 IUD's [Improvised Explosive Devices] and numerous hidden enemy weapons in just five months – a record total for an Army explosives-sniffer dog and his handler. It is deeply moving that they died within hours of each other and made their final journey home together in March, 2011. Theo, a springer spaniel cross, suffered a fatal seizure shortly after his master, L/Cpl Tasker, was shot dead by a Taliban sniper. The 22-month-old dog was said to have died of a broken heart after his Arms & Explosives Search soldier comrade was killed.
During only five months in combat, the pair detected more concealed weaponry than any other dog and handler team during the war. The pair are hailed for saving the lives of countless British soldiers in Afghanistan. And when L/Cpl Tasker, 26, were flown home to Britain,Theo’s ashes were alongside his body in a casket on the RAF Hercules carrying the coffin. The casket containing Theo’s ashes will be handed over to their unit, the 104 Military Working Dog Squadron, then given to L/Cpl Tasker’s grieving family.

L/Cpl Tasker, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, was the 358th member of the British armed forces to die since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001. He was killed taking part in a mission in the Nahr-e-Saraj district in Helmand. The pair served in Afghanistan as part of the Theatre Military Working Dogs Support Unit based at Camp Bastion. Theo was the ‘front man’ of a patrol, sniffing out IEDs, weapons, and bomb-making equipment hidden by the Taliban. Consideration is being made to honour Theo with the award of a Dickin Medal – the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Dog handler: Liam was a member of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. Theo also died after the attack

Dickin medal
Dickin Medal For Brave Animals

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