This is Colour Sergeant Dura from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles. He died on active service in the 'stan on November 15th.
I've blogged a couple of times about the Gurkhas and the boundless respect and admiration I have for them having encountered serving and former soldiers on an almost daily basis. If the population of this country could absorb the qualities of these dignified men then we'd be in much better shape.
The story has been covered all over the blogosphere, with Obo, DK, The Refuser and countless others. The Real Machiavelli puts it very well indeed, the crux being:
C. Sgt Dura, 36, leaves two daughters and a wife. He had served in the British Army since 1992.Colour Sergeant Dura lived in Canterbury, my home town. The Regiment are based at Shorncliffe, only about 15 miles from Canterbury and there are many Gurkhas in the town. My MP, Julian Brazier has spoken out about this, but for all the good it will do I'll be dropping him a line to give him my thoughts on this peverse and offensive situation.
But the purpose of this article is not to recount his years of selfless service, nor to sing the praises of his heroism in Afghanistan. It is to draw attention to the most appallingly callous, bureaucratically pig-headed mindset Machiavelli has so far encountered. Because the Home Office is currently threatening to deport the wife and two little children of C. Sgt Dura.
Machiavelli is disgusted to learn that this Government thinks so little of C. Sgt Dura's sacrifice that their first instinct is to weild the full weight of the immigration system against his wife and children.
Offensive, like 'hero' are words that are banded about with all too much regularity these days here they are used in their proper sense. It makes me deeply, deeply ashamed of my country.