Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Zealand Army Private Richard Harris

New Zealand Army Private Richard Lee Harris, serving with the 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR) was one of three soldiers killed on 19th August 2012 in the north-east of Bamiyan province.

They were in the last vehicle of a convoy escorting a fellow patrol member to a doctor when their Humvee was hit by an improvised explosive device about 9.20am (Afghanistan time). They had deployed to Afghanistan in April. The attack occurred northwest of Do Abe, near where New Zealander Lance Corporals Rory Malone and Pralli Durrer were killed in a firefight on 4th August.

21-year-old Private Harris, from Patumahoe, joined the New Zealand Army in February 2009 and was posted to 2/1 RNZIR. He had previously deployed to Timor-Leste in 2009/2010.

Private Harris was the youngest son of Sandra and the late Harry Harris. In a press statement, his family described him as "a laid-back, quiet, fun-loving, mischievous guy who would light up the room with his smile. Richard was our pride and joy. He was such a good boy who loved his whanau dearly and loved life. He had a passion for rugby, playing junior boys for Patumahoe, then the first XV for three years while at Pukekohe High School. In his free time he liked chilling with the bros."

The other New Zealanders killed were Lance-Corporal Jacinda Baker and Corporal Luke Tamatear.

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