Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to Afghan death soldier

A British soldier killed in Afghanistan on Remembrance Sunday has been described as the "epitome of the Irish Infantry soldier".

Ranger Aaron McCormick, 22, from Macosquin, Co Londonderry, of 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, was caught in a blast while out on patrol in the Nad'e Ali area of Helmand province on Sunday morning.

His death came as Prince William flew into Camp Bastion with Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox for a service of remembrance.

A total of 344 UK military personnel have died since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001.

Ranger McCormick was a Star Wars fan, his fellow soldiers said.

He leaves behind his parents, two sisters, brother and his girlfriend.

Paying tribute, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Weir MBE, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, said: "Ranger Aaron McCormick was the epitome of the Irish Infantry soldier: tough; selfless; good-humoured and full of compassion.

"Today, there is a gap in our ranks which no ordinary man could fill. He was the best of his country and we mourn his loss."

Captain Dougie Beattie MC, Battle Captain, A Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, who served alongside him, said: "He was a larger-than-life character, a giant amongst men and he sacrificed his life to ensure the safety of his colleagues and the local Afghan population."

His friend Ranger Daniel Jackson, who served alongside him in A Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, explained: "Aaron went by many names, but to his friends he was "Jedi".


From Belfast Telegraph