Family, friends and colleagues have gathered at a funeral to pay tribute to a Brisbane soldier who they say was an extraordinary young man.
Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney’s widow says their son will be named in his honour.
Sacha Passi reports.
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Teenage sweethearts and devoted soul-mates, two lives torn apart by a life cut tragically short.
As rain fell at the funeral in Ashgrove, more than eight-hundred family, friends and colleagues gathered to say ‘goodbye’ to the man they called ‘one hell of a soldier’.
David Smallbone, Father in Law: “We love you and will never forget you. Rest in peace.”
Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney was remembered as a fun loving husband, father, son, brother and soldier.
The twenty-eight year old was dedicated to his wife, daughter, and service to his country.
David Smallbone, Father in Law: “We were privileged to share the enjoyment his presence brought to our lives.”
His widow, Beckie MacKinney says their two children will forever be reminded of their incredible dad who just wanted to make a difference.
She’s due to give birth to their first son ‘Noah Jared’ in a fortnight.
Beckie MacKinney has thanked his mates still serving in Afghanistan. She says she proud of them and knows Jared would be too.
In a statement she said – “I want to thank you for your caring and incredible messages of support. I know Jared would want me to tell you that we … fully support you in the job you are doing for us all.”
He died protecting his mates during an intense fire fight in Afghanistan last month.
Kelly Tindal, Family Friend: “Jared was a true warrior. he showed soldiers how to be soldiers. And for our boys there on the day he was a hero.”
Political leaders also gathered to pay respect to Australia’s tenth soldier to die in Afghanistan since June.
Corporal Mackinney was operating as a mentor to Afghan troops.
Brig Paul McLachlan, Australian Army: “We have lost a wonderful soldier and a remarkable Australian and we will miss him.”
His family say he died doing what he loved.
Sacha Passi, QUT News.
UPDATE: Only hours after the funeral Beckie MacKinney gave birth to Noah Jared MacKinney.