SAS veteran Sergeant Blaine Diddams, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month, has been farewelled at a Perth funeral.
Sergeant Diddams was on his seventh deployment to Afghanistan when he was shot in the chest on a mission to hunt down an enemy commander on July 2.
Sergeant Diddams had served with the SAS since 1995.
He was the 33rd Australian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan, but the first this year.
Family, friends and fellow soldiers assembled at Karrakatta Cemetery to pay their respects.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard attended the ceremony with Defence Minister Stephen Smith.
A senior Army officer described Sergeant Diddams as being at the “top of his game” in terms of command whilst also being humble and loyal to his fellow soldiers.
“Today we mark the passing of one of the unit’s finest warriors,” he said.
“Sergeant Blaine Diddams now rests in peace among 47 of his mates who in the service of this fine country, the Defence Force and special service regiment have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“For Sergeant Blaine Diddams and his family, you are forever etched into the fabric of this fine organisation.”
I trust that you will join me in a period of reflective contemplation to mark the passing of this fine young soldier.
Lest We Forget.