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Friday, November 2, 2012

Daniel Keighran awarded Victoria Cross

Daniel Keighran works at Frog's Legs gold mine near Kalgoorlie in WA while serving as a Defence Reservist.  A quiet, unassuming man, he doesn't like talking about himself.  Yesterday his work mates discovered that a hero walks among them.

The boss of the Army flew to Kalgoorlie to personally deliver a letter to Daniel from Government House, informing him that he had won our highest military honour, The Victoria Cross.  "It was just utter surprise, I had no idea it was coming" he said.

Cpl Keighran 29, served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Bushmaster driver.  The Army wants him and so does the mining industry.  Army engineers and logistics managers are the most sought after people for well paid fly-in fly-out mine work.

Defence Chief David Hurley said "We certainly can't compete in financial terms."  But the Army hasn't given up hope of getting him back. "These days, we realise you might want to go away, put a nest egg together....but you're always welcome back because your experience is valuable to us."   

He even kept his bravery a secret from his wife Kathryn for two years and only told her two weeks ago.  He said she wasn't very impressed at first.

On 24 August 2010 Cpl Daniel Keighran's Mentoring Task Force One were overwhelmed by insurgents in Oruzgan Province.  He repeatedly broke cover to draw enemy fire to help identify their locations and risked his own life so an injured colleague could receive medical treatment.  Lance Corporal Jared McKinney was killed in the battle.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce said that Daniel Keighran was "a man selfless in the face of threat, courageous in the face of terror, generous in the face of suffering, and humble in the face of honour bestowed."