Families of fallen urge Australia to stay the course


A poll of 3600 Herald Sun readers, who were asked "Is it time for Australia to withdraw from Afghanistan?" found 53 per cent said yes and 47 per cent responded no.

Felix Sher, whose son Gregory was killed in a rocket attack last year, believes it is vital troops remain in Afghanistan to protect locals, and Australian shores, from the Taliban.

"The media constantly comment on the combat element of Afghanistan, but there's just so much more," Mr Sher said.

He said coalition forces were stemming the flow of Taliban recruits and helping stabilise sections of the country.

"The Taliban are bullies and they prey on the ignorant and the socially disadvantaged," Mr Sher said.

"Coalition forces provide protection to allow the developments to take place, in particular in education.

"If these countries providing the security all pull out, the entire momentum of the development will collapse."

Jennifer Ward, whose son Benjamin Ranaudo was also killed last year, agreed.

"I know it seems harsh, and it may seem like an awful price to pay, but if we give up now those 16 boys have died for nothing," she said.

Sandy Moerland, whose son Jacob was killed this month, also wants the troops to stay.

"Although it's a very big tragedy, I personally think it would be an even bigger tragedy to pull them out because everyone who has lost their lives ... it will have all been for nothing," she said.

"The boys were doing very, very good work there. The Afghan people can sleep in their beds at night."

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