On Monday this week Cpl Mark ‘Maldoon’ Palin was killed in Afghanistan. He was leading a patrol to recover component parts that would be used to make IEDs when he was killed by an IED. Mark was a young father to Lennon and married to Carla who is 5mths pregnant with their daughter. He was good friends with my brother in law and neighbours of my sister, who lives a few doors away from his family on camp.
Mark was doing a job he loved, leading from the front, a respected and relied upon Rifleman with a reputation for banter and humour – read his obituary to get more of an idea of who he was. His pal, Easty had this to say:
Maldoon – You have left a gigantic hole in our lives. I don’t know where to start and definitely don’t know where to finish….The banter was always (most of the time) good and there are so many memories that we will all remember.
Just over a year ago I wrote a post Respect please! after my sister’s next door neighbour, Cpl Chris Harrison, was killed in Afghanistan. I ended it as follows:
I just wanted to remind anyone who has bothered to read this far, of the reality of life for those who choose to serve in our armed forces. I guess I’d just like them to think twice before so quickly dismissing their efforts and relegating their profession.
A year on, another loss, Mark was the 377th British military death in Afghanistan since 2001. I’m not really sure why I’m writing this post, I guess partly in acknowledgement of the ultimate sacrifice that so many of our forces personnel make and partly in an attempt to raise people’s awareness and understanding of the impact. For the family and friends of these men, life will never be the same.
The Swift and Bold appeal provides immediate support and assistance for the families, girlfriends and boyfriends of the dead and wounded in those devastating first hours and days after a tragedy. In the medium and long term excess funds are used by the Rifles Regimental Trust to fund meaningful projects for the wounded and their families. If you would like to donate in memory of Mark you can do so on their website.