Tributes to medic and marine killed in Helmand

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A ROYAL Marine and a medic who died after being injured while on patrol in Afghanistan have been named as Corporal David O’Connor and Corporal Channing Day.

Corporal O’Connor, of 40 Commando, and Corporal Day, serving with 3 Medical Regiment, were on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province training Afghan police.

The patrol came under fire near Char Kutsa and suffered fatally injuries in the firefight.

The family of Corporal Day, 25, who grew up in Northern Ireland and had previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said in a statement: “Channing was bubbly, sporty, beautiful and lived her life for the Army. She has died doing what she lived for and in the life that she loved.

“She will be remembered by all who knew her as a wonderful girl who never stopped smiling and who had an infectious laugh. A girl who lived her life to the full without ever giving up on her dreams. She was a fabulous daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, niece and friend.”

Major Paul Sandle, Officer Commanding, Close Support (Task Force Helmand) Medical Squadron, 3 Medical Regiment, described her as a “dedicated and selfless medic who put the needs of others before her own”.

“Channing’s strong character, good nature and unique sense of humour were invaluable in contributing to the efforts of the squadron. She was never one to shy away from a challenge, and would fully immerse herself in the task at hand, fully embracing the role of a close support medic,” he said.

A statement from the family of Corporal O’Connor, 27, of Hampshire, said: “David’s family and friends are greatly saddened by his loss and hope to be left to grieve privately.”

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Jackson, Royal Marines, Commanding Officer, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said he was “one of the best”.

“He was loved and respected by those around him and was relentless in the pursuit of excellence in his duties,” he said. “Utterly professional, his four operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan marked him as one of the most devoted individuals in the Commando. Brave, committed and humorous it is difficult to find words that can possibly fill the void which has been left by this truly excellent junior commander; his loss is difficult to comprehend.”