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There is a young man and his family I think about all the time. Some days of the year I can’t keep him out of my mind and every time some one mentions that the war in Afghanistan and the question, was it all for nothing? I think of him

His name is Benjamin Renaudo.

Ben was born in 1987 and was from Melbourne Victoria. I was born in 1987 in Eastern Victoria in the country town Daylesford.

Ben joined the army straight out of High school, enlisting on the 18th May 2006. I joined the Army straight out of high school on the 9th May 2006.

                                                                               

At the completion of Ben’s basic training he went on to the school of Infantry. When I completed my basic training I went on to the school of armour.

In November 2006, after completing his employment training, Ben was posted to the 1st Australian Regiment in Townsville Queensland. In November 200, after completing my  employment training I was posted to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Darwin Northern Territory.

In April 2007 as young green 19 year old Ben was deployed to East Timor for his first operational deployment. In June 2007 as young green 19 year old I was deployed to Iraq on my first operational deployment.

                                                             

After Bens deployment to East Timor he completed his Recon course to be apart of Recon platoon in the 1st Australian Regiment, they are the snippers of the regiment. After Iraq I completed my Australian Light Armoured Vehicle gunners course to be Gunner, this is the guy that fires the gun on a tank

In 2009 Ben was deployed on his second deployment to Afghanistan as an Infantry soldier in 1 platoon Alpha company 1st Australian Regiment. In 2009 I was deployed on my second deployment to Afghanistan as an Cavalry soldier attached to 3 platoon, Alpha company 1st Australian Regiment.

                                       

In July 2009 after 8 weeks in Afghanistan Ben was apart of an Operation to search and clear a suspected Taliban compound in the Baluchi Valley Afghanistan. I was apart of the same operation as a Quick Reaction force ready to escort an armoured Ambulance if medical support was required.

On 18th July 2009 at around 0500hrs  I was manning the radio of my armoured vehicle. On 18th July 2009 at around 0500hrs Benjamin Ranaldo and his mate stepped on a home made mine, made laid by the Taliban. Ben was killed instantly.

After my involvement in the war I went on to discharge from the army. I have since traveled the world, been fortunate enough to buy a house, I have met the love of my life, married and had a beautiful daughter. I am extremely blessed to live an amazing life, with friends and family around me every day. I live in a beautiful part of the world with so many freedoms and opportunities.

Ben is dead.

The question, “was it all for nothing?” Hurts, but my answer is NO.

You have to dig pretty deep into your personal morals to answer this question. Benjamin Ranaudo life ended at the age of 22, he will never experience any of things I will, His parents and family have given their everything to this war. We could have sat aside and stayed out of it, we could have left Afghanistan to the Afghanie people and Australian families would have never suffered. Today, Ben could also be waking up to his daughter, that he never had.

Is it ok to sit on the fence while knowing horrible things are happening to women and children? Doing what is right, over what is easy is probably one of the most important morals a person can have. We did what was right and Ben gave his life so that women and children in Afghanistan could have a life. It is not an easy thing to do, except death so another person can have a life, but it was the right ting to do.

Every soldier that deployed to Afghanistan is aware that humans are capable of really horrible and nasty things. The world is not always a nice safe place as you know it and bad things happen when good people do nothing.