Hundreds gather to mourn army medic
Published 08/11/2012 | 03:43
Hundreds of people have joined family and friends of army medic Corporal Channing Day for her funeral in Northern Ireland.
The 25-year-old who served with 3 Medical Regiment became the third British servicewoman to be killed in Afghanistan since the conflict began in the country more than a decade ago.
She was buried with full military honours after a service in her home town of Comber, Co Down, where hundreds of people including military veterans lined the streets.
Army chaplain Albert Jackson told mourners who packed into First Comber Presbyterian Church, the huge turnout was testament to the esteem with which Cpl Day was held.
He said: "Channing's passion in life from an early age was to be a soldier. That was her goal. She wanted to be one of the best. She wanted to be the best."
Padre Jackson described combat medics as angels in disguise and said Cpl Day had been willing to face the same dangers as her male military colleagues.
He added: "She was out on the ground with the lads. She was one of them. She faced all the dangers and hardships that the guys encounter. She was a brave lady and her death has been felt by all."
Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson, Strangford MP Jim Shannon and Stormont junior minister Jonathan Bell were among the dignitaries at the service to pay their respects.
During a tearful tribute, Lauren Day said: "We should all be very proud of Channing and we will get through this all if we continue to look out for each other knowing that we have a diamond in the sky looking down on us all - our very own guardian angel. You were the best sister I could ever have asked for. You were very special but, I didn't know just how amazing you were."
Cpl Day died alongside 27-year-old Corporal David O'Connor, of 40 Commando, after being shot during a firefight in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province last month. They were overseeing the training of Afghan local police when their patrol came under fire near the village of Char Kutsa.