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Public opportunity to send message of condolence

6 August 2010

The New Zealand Defence Force says it is receiving an outpouring of condolences and support from the public after the death of Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell, and injury of two other soldiers.

A large number of letters and emails of condolence have been received by the Defence Force and all the messages will be collected and sent to the soldiers’ families, the Defence Force says.

The Defence Force has responded by setting up an online form on its website to help members of the public to send a message of condolence to the family and friends of LT O’Donnell, or to Lance Corporal Matthew Ball and Private Allister Baker – the two soldiers injured in Afghanistan.

LT O’Donnell was farewelled in a simple but sombre ceremony in Bamyan township yesterday. The service was attended by elements of the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team; the Provincial Governor, Dr Habiba Sarabi and the Acting Provincial Chief of Police.
 
The wounded soldiers, Lance Corporal Matthew Ball and Private Allister Baker, and the interpreter accompanied the casket to Bagram Air Force Base, flown by a coalition air force C130 Hercules. They are receiving further medical treatment and have been admitted to the Bagram hospital.

“The NZDF is working with authorities in Afghanistan, and coalition countries to try and bring Tim, Matthew and Allister home as quickly as possible,” said Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell.

To post a message of condolence

ENDS

For further information please contact Chris Wright, Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980.

Note to editors: There are currently 207 New Zealand Defence Force personnel in Afghanistan. 106 personnel are serving with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team, in Bamyan province led by Mr Dick Newlands.

The sixteenth rotation of the Defence Force contingent arrived in Afghanistan in April 2010 and will remain in Afghanistan for approximately six months.


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