Thursday, 3 March 2011
"Top bomb sniffer dog dies after handler is shot dead in Helmand" (News item from The Times, 3rd March)
Lance Corporal Tasker had initially joined the Army in 2001 as a vehicle mechanic but his passion for dogs led to a transfer to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps six years later.
Speaking last month, Lance Corporal Tasker had said he did not know that the dog support unit existed until a friend showed him videos of the dogs at work. “I love my job and working together with Theo. He has great character and never tires. He can’t wait to get out and do his job,” he said.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Thorpe, Commanding Officer, 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, said: “It’s a challenge to put into words what Lance Corporal Tasker meant to those he worked with. To his friends he was a mate who could put a smile on your face. He was that man who you wanted around and who you wanted to spend time with.He genuinely loved the dogs he worked with.”
Lance Corporal Tasker’s death brings to 358 the number of British military personnel to have died in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001.
In a statement released through the Ministry of Defence, his family said: “There are three words that best describe Liam: larger than life. He lit up every room he walked into with his cheeky smile. He was the best son, grandson, brother and friend you could ever wish to meet.
“He died a hero doing a job he was immensely passionate about. We are so proud of him and everything he’s achieved. Words can’t describe how sorely he will be missed.”
His girlfriend, Leah Walters, said: “LT never met anyone without touching their lives in some way. The amount of support both I and his family have received in the last day alone pays testament to this.