by DAVID AXE
New Zealander Willie Apiata isn’t the only Commonwealth commando to gain fame from his Afghanistan exploits. Australian commando Trooper Mark Donaldson was just named “Young Australian of the Year,” according to The Australian.
Donaldson rose to fame after winning the Victoria Cross for his role in a September 2008 firefight in which nine Australians were wounded – “the highest number of Australian military casualties suffered in a single incident since the Vietnam War,” the newspaper pointed out.
During a fierce two-hour gunbattle, Trooper Donaldson deliberately drew enemy fire on several occasions to allow wounded soldiers to be moved to safety and then braving intense machine gun and rocket fire, ran 80 meters over open ground to rescue a wounded Afghan interpreter.
After his convoy began to withdraw from the ambush site, Trooper Donaldson spotted the wounded interpreter lying in open ground and without hesitation ran out to rescue him.
“His movement, once identified by the enemy, drew intense and accurate machine gun fire from entrenched positions,” said the VC citation.
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