Body of Benjamin Ranaudo returns to Australia
July 26, 2009
Article from: Australian Associated Press
THE body of Private Benjamin Ranaudo, 21, killed in Afghanistan last week, has returned to Australia.
Family, colleagues and dignitaries gathered at Avalon Airport, near Melbourne, for the solemn ramp ceremony marking his return to his homeland.
Private Ranaudo, a member of the Mentor and Reconstruction Task Force, died in the explosion of an insurgent improvised explosive device while conducting an operation in southern Afghanistan.
Soldiers from his unit, the Townsville-based 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) formed a bearer party to receive and carry the casket from the C-17 Globemaster aircraft to his family.
This was his family's first opportunity to pay their respects to Private Ranaudo since his death.
Defence Minister John Faulkner, Opposition Defence Personnel spokesman Bob Baldwin, acting Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General David Hurley, acting Army chief Major General Paul Symon and commander of the army's 3rd Brigade Brigadier Stuart Smith attended the ceremony.