UK & World News
Tributes To 'Proud And Patriotic' Soldier
The family of a British soldier shot dead by a member of the Afghan National Army have paid tribute to the "proud, patriotic man".
Sapper Richard Reginald Walker, a member of 28 Engineer Regiment attached to 21 Engineer Regiment was killed in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Monday.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the insider attack, which occurred at Patrol Base Hazrat.
Sapper Walker, 23, was father to a young daughter, Lilly-Faith.
He was described as an avid football fan who quickly gained friends across the ranks.
A family statement said: "Richard held two things close to his heart - his daughter and his colleagues in the Army.
"A proud, patriotic man, he died doing a job he loved, supporting his friends."
He was killed as he worked on a construction task with other military engineers as part of preparations to hand the camp over to Afghan security forces.
The Afghan soldier opened fire on international and Afghan National Army troops, killing Sapper Walker and injuring six others.
They were all taken to the Bastion Role 3 medical facility where Sapper Walker was pronounced dead.
The Leeds-born Sapper worked as a technician for car manufacturer Vauxhall before joining the Army in July 2008.
He completed training to become a driver before completing major exercises in Canada and Kenya with 28 Engineer Regiment.
He had only known his daughter for 18 months before he was deployed for his first tour of Afghanistan in September.
Lieutenant Colonel Chas Story, Commanding Officer, 28 Engineer Regiment, said: "Sapper Walker was the epitome of a true Sapper, one who would roll up his sleeves and get on with the task in hand no matter what, but importantly he would do it with great humour.
"He made sure that he made the most of every opportunity, both in the Army and at home; it is without doubt that he had a lot to offer and a bright future."
Sapper Matthew Cunningham, 28 Engineer Regiment, described him as a "comrade, friend, father and much-loved son".
He added: "I knew Richie for three years and was privileged to be able to call him my best mate. He was thoughtful, funny and a big character in any group he found himself amongst, but he always put others first.
"He was very wise and mature for such a young lad. I have so many good memories from over the last three years but the one that stands out the most for me was the day that he christened his daughter Lilly-Faith.
"He was so proud of her, that day I remember him standing that extra inch taller and his smile beaming more than usual."
what do you think?
Sadly tributes are no substitute for level headed thinking as to why this country is involved in hopeless causes such as Afghanistan.
What is so stupid about all of this is that somewhere in Afghanistan the family of the unnamed Afghan soldier will be saying that he too was a "comrade, friend, father and much-loved son". It's all so pathetic.