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  • Christina Drummond

Private John Howard, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Private John (Jack) Howard, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan. He had been serving with 16 Air Assault Brigade’s Reconnaissance Force on a patrol ten kilometres south west of the provincial capital of Helmand province, Lashkar Gah, when he was fatally wounded during an action conducted against insurgents operating in that area. He had moved to the U.K. from New Zealand to apply to join the Parachute Regiment and successfully passed out in November 2007. He served in Afghanistan in 2008, and served with distinction. In 2010 he volunteered for service with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, successfully completing the Brigade Reconnaissance Force cadre in which he excelled, and qualified as a sharpshooter and a team medic. He is remembered as an immensely likeable man, with a sense of humour and easygoing attitude; and he had been at the forefront of all the Brigade Reconnaissance Force operations until his death. His family made this statement: "Jack was immensely proud to be both a Para and a New Zealander. He was absolutely passionate about what he was doing. He was never prepared to accept less than the best and was always striving for the next challenge. His decision to try for the Paras, which he regarded as the foremost infantry regiment in the world, reflected this drive and passion. He came from a loving family with a long military history. He was the fourth generation of our family to serve in the military. Jack was well-read and believed strongly in what he was doing. He had an understanding of the conflict he was engaged in and prepared his position robustly. However, he never let his profession detract from his innate humanity." Jack, born in Wellington, New Zealand, was 23 years old.

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