By: Stephen Dando Collins
Location: FIC DAN
Today three more of our soldiers in Afghanistan were killed, blown apart by a roadside bomb. It has taken our death toll to 10. Our New Zealand forces are there as a provincial reconstruction team to rebuild the area of Bamyan. They are building roads, bridges and infrastructure, and they get killed by insurgents for trying to build a better Afghanistan. Three families today are grieving, they have paid a huge price, creating peace has caused pain, building bridges has shattered lives.
This story is about a dog called Caesar, a sniffer dog whose job it is to locate hidden improvised explosive devices (IED), the sort that killed our people in Bamyan.
On an operation Corporal Ben Fulton and Caesar are ambushed by the Taliban. Ben is seriously wounded and evacuated to hospital, but Caesar gets lost. Back in Australia , Ben does all he can to locate his friend and hero- Caesar- has he been captured, can he survive an Afghan winter, what would the Taliban do to his dog if they caught him? But Caesar is brave, loyal and his story is based on the many true stories of military dogs who have saved countless lives. What our guys needed last Friday was a IED sniffer dog, today I remember them.