Soldier remembered as hero at his funeral
A soldier who died in Afghanistan earlier this month has been laid to rest with full military honours in Brisbane.
Sapper Darren Smith, 26, his colleague Sapper Jacob Moerland and bomb detection dog Herbie lost their lives when an improvised bomb exploded during a patrol in Oruzgan province.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston joined family and friends at Sapper Smith's funeral at the Marist Brothers Chapel in Ashgrove.
Lieutenant Colonel John Carey, the Commanding Officer of the Second Combat Engineer Regiment, was among those who paid tribute to the fallen soldier.
"[He was a] soldier, father, husband, son and mate. Sapper Darren James Smith, we are proud of you," he said.
"The nation will miss you. You will never be forgotten."
Graeme Smith said his son was his hero.
"I love you today, tomorrow and forever," he said.
"You were taken from me but you'll always be my heart and no-one can take that from me.
"Rest in peace, mate."
In a statement, his wife Angela Smith said family and friends will remember "all the Darrens we knew."
"The devoted father of Mason, my loving husband, a son who made his family proud, a dedicated and very professional soldier, a great mate, and a larrikin with a wicked sense of humour and mischief," she said.
"A man who would do anything for anybody, no matter what the cost."
Sapper Moerland's funeral was held last Wednesday in Gayndah town hall, south-west of Bundaberg in southern Queensland.
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