The Australian Father’s Day Council has named Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith, VC, MG, Australian Army sniper and Victoria Cross recipient, “Father Of The Year”.
Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith will on Monday be dubbed the 2013 Father of the Year for his devotion to his family and contribution to country.
The Brisbane-based Victoria Cross recipient, 34, has twin three-year-olds, Eve and Elizabeth.
Cpl Roberts-Smith accepted the award on behalf of all the parents who have sacrificed time away from loved ones to serve in the Australian Defence Force.
Roberts-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross in 2010 when he drew the fire of an insurgent ambush when his patrol was pinned down by machine gunners, he then stormed a Taliban position killing two machine gunners.
As he approached the structure, Corporal Roberts-Smith identified an insurgent grenadier in the throes of engaging his patrol. Corporal Roberts-Smith instinctively engaged the insurgent at point-blank range resulting in the death of the insurgent. With the members of his patrol still pinned down by the three enemy machine gun positions, he exposed his own position in order to draw fire away from his patrol, which enabled them to bring fire to bear against the enemy. His actions enabled his Patrol Commander to throw a grenade and silence one of the machine guns. Seizing the advantage, and demonstrating extreme devotion to duty and the most conspicuous gallantry, Corporal Roberts-Smith, with a total disregard for his own safety, stormed the enemy position killing the two remaining machine gunners.
His act of valour enabled his patrol to break-in to the enemy position and to lift the weight of fire from the remainder of the troop who had been pinned down by the machine gun fire. On seizing the fortified gun position, Corporal Roberts-Smith then took the initiative again and continued to assault enemy positions in depth during which he and another patrol member engaged and killed further enemy. His acts of selfless valour directly enabled his troop to go on and clear the village of Tizak of Taliban. This decisive engagement subsequently caused the remainder of the Taliban in Shah Wali Kot District to retreat from the area.
In case you are wondering, Australian celebrate Fathers Day in September, later in the year than most of the world.
Thanks to Aaron for the tip.