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  • Christina Drummond

WO2 Gary O'Donnell GM, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logitics Corps

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2008, Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary O'Donnell GM, from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, was killed in Afghanistan. He had been commanding an IED disposal team, dealing with a confirmed IED that had been detected by a high risk search team, when it exploded.. Their task was to clear a route in a vulnerable area for 5 SCOTS Battlegroup, in and around the Western side of Musa Qaleh. He was known to be an outstanding technician and soldier, with seventeen years of service - he had undertaken tours in Sierra Leone, Iraq, as well as two tours of both Northern Ireland and Afghanistan, in both the IEDD and Weapons Intelligence Specialist roles. He was considered the epitome of what the Ammunition Technician Trade stands for with his exemplary service, exceptional high standards and a humbling degree of courage and bravery. This was demonstrated by his award for bravery and courage in Iraq where he was awarded the George Medal for his work as an IEDD operator with the Joint Force EOD Group in 2006. The George Medal is the second highest decoration for "acts of great bravery" not "in the face of the enemy". His second George Medal was the first such award in 26 years and the first ever posthumous bar. Lieutenant Colonel Dave Wilson MBE, said: "WO2 O’Donnell was an amazing man. Hugely talented and unbelievably brave he was at the very top of his extremely dangerous and difficult trade. It was a trade at which he excelled. It was his passion and he took immense pride in making places safer for other people, the danger to his own life rarely seemed to affect him. If it did, he kept it to himself. He was a real character and a natural leader of men." Gary, from Edinburgh, was 40 years old and the father of four children, the youngest being nine weeks old.

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