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Army October 29, 2009
LCpl Mason Edwards' commitment to the Army and his
love of Australia, his family and friends was highlighted
in a short message he left in case he died in Afghanistan:
"I want everyone to know that I love this line of
work, the unit and the guys I work alongside."
"We do what we do for many reasons. I need little
more reason than this -- anyone of us could have been
born in this country (Afghanistan), but we are the lucky
few who enjoy a lifestyle unsurpassed by anyone in the
greatest country on Earth (Australia). As a final note, I
tell my family, friends and my one and only Cassie that
I loved them all until the day I died. I will stay young
forever, and I will love them forever."
Happy couple: LCpl Mason Edwards and his
partner Cassie. The soldier had a great love for
Cassie, his family, friends and nation.
By WO2 Graham McBean
THE members of 2 Cdo Regt are unit-
ed in grief but are resolved to continue
their training for Afghanistan after the
tragic death of LCpl Mason Edwards
on October 20.
LCpl Mason died after being shot dur-
ing live-fire close-quarter mission-spe-
cific training at Cultana exercise area
near Port Augusta in SA about 9.30pm.
A second soldier from the IRR received
small-arms shrapnel wounds to his arm.
Lt-Gen Gillespie said an investiga-
tion into the accident, led by SA police
and supported by the ADF Investigative
Service, was under way.
"We have a soldier who is deceased,
so clearly something went wrong. The
aim of the South Australian Police inves-
tigation and the ADFIS investigation will
be to tell me what went wrong and what I
need to do to fix it," he said.
A critical support team, including psy-
chological support, deployed to Cultana
to support the soldiers.
Lt-Gen Gillespie said LCpl Edwards
had been preparing for his third opera-
tional deployment and his death was a
devastating blow. "I know for a fact that
Mason was a committed and determined
soldier, he was tremendously proud of his
service and in his mates with whom he
served," he said.
He said live-fire mission rehearsal
exercises such as the one in which LCpl
Edwards was killed were essential for
Special Forces personnel to gain the con-
fidence they needed for their operational
military tasks. "Although this is clearly
a tragic accident, MREs do save lives on
operations and are a vital part of Army's
force-preparation measures," he said.
CA Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie said the
training tragedy was a reminder of the
dangerous job undertaken by service per-
"While our immediate attention is
focused on LCpl Edwards and his loved
ones and friends, let us not forget the
other fine and courageous people who
have lost their lives in training accidents
in service to our nation," he said. "Their
sacrifice and the ongoing burden on their
families are no less important and no less
appreciated. This will be a difficult time
for those families and I extend my deep-
est condolences to them."
2 Cdo Regt CO Lt-Col Paul Kenny said
LCpl Edwards was a highly experienced,
proud and popular commando who sought
to excel in every aspect of his career, epit-
omised by his outstanding performance as
the student of merit and the best instructor
on a recent promotion course.
"The accidental death of LCpl Mason
Edwards is a terrible tragedy and 2 Cdo
Regt is united in grief, however, the train-
ing at Cultana will continue to ensure that
Alpha Cdo Coy is fully prepared for their
next deployment to Afghanistan," Lt-Col
"Our thoughts and prayers are with
his parents, Julie and Kerrin, his siblings,
Katie, Remie and Jared, his nephew,
Henry, and his beloved partner, Cassie."
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