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Remembering brave fallen soldier Brent with a garden
FRIENDS and colleagues of a RAF Brize Norton serviceman killed in Afghan-istan have unveiled a lasting tribute to his memory.
Corporal Brent McCarthy, 25, was shot dead in May while training and mentoring Afghan police officers in Helmand province.
He had been based at the Carterton airbase since 2009 and yesterday his colleagues at RAF Police Flight unveiled a memorial garden there in his honour.
Cpl McCarthy, whose body was repatriated to Brize Norton three months ago, was the first RAF police officer to be killed in the Afghan conflict. He was an active part of both the military and civilian communities, playing hockey with the Brize Norton Wildcats, and drums in a Carterton band. Last year he helped raise money for forces charity Help for Heroes. His girlfriend, Cpl Sarah Briggs, who is based at RAF Benson , said the garden was a fitting tribute to him.
She added: “Brent was an amazing person. He was beautiful, he had an amazing sense of humour and he loved life.
“It still does not seem real. He was meant to be out there until October and I am still waiting for that email or phone call from him.”
Friend and colleague Cpl Sam Biddiscombe, of RAF Police Flight, said: “Brent was a really good friend. He was very funny, out- going, loved his sports and got along with everyone on camp.”
Cpl Biddiscombe, who was the driving force behind the garden, added: “It is a place where we can remember him and where people can come for time out.”
The garden, which cost about £1,500, was paid for using an RAF Police Flight club funds and with match funding from Lechlade Garden Centre.
A plaque reads: “McCarthy Memorial Garden. In honour of a dear friend, colleague and hero.”
Cpl Darren Goodey, of RAF Police Flight, said: “Brent was a really nice bloke, just a cracking lad. He was a great listener and if you had any problems he would talk to anyone. I really miss him – it is still a shock.”
Police Flight commanding officer Lieutenant Shona Bragg said: “The garden has been an opportunity for the flight to focus on his life.
“It has given them a chance to come together and put something there as a remembrance for all the police who go through Brize Norton.”
She added: “It has been very difficult for the troops to continue with their daily work in the knowledge that Brent is not coming home, but everyone has pulled together and the memorial garden has been a focus for them.”