A decorated Kiwi soldier killed in a chopper crash yesterday, while he was fighting the Port Hills fires in Christchurch, will go to his grave with an outstanding and accomplished track record.
Among Corporal David Steven Askin's most celebrated missions was an incident in Afghanistan, in 2011, where he was wounded by grenade and rifle fire at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul.
Despite his injuries he bravely carried on with his mission and rescued guests from the hotel, as fire broke out.
He was also cited on several other occasions for exceptional bravery during operations in Afghanistan.
In 2014, he was awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Star, New Zealand's second highest gallantry award, for acts of outstanding gallantry in situations of danger.
The Chief of Army, Major General Peter Kelly, praised Corporal Askin's selflessness saying he put himself in the line of fire, and put the objectives of the mission before his personal wellbeing.
"Our thoughts are with his family, friends and comrades at this time," Major General Kelly said.
"He was an outstanding soldier who served his country with bravery and commitment - the same bravery and commitment he showed in helping his community fight these fires.
"His performance was of the highest order and was in keeping with the finest traditions of New Zealand's military record."
He put himself in the line of fire, and put the objectives of the mission before his personal wellbeing.
Corporal Askin enlisted in 1998 and left the Army in 2013, though he remained an active member of the SAS Reserves.