Freedom is something we rarely give thanks for or think about in our daily lives, but we, in the western world enjoy a level of freedom citizens in other less fortunate countries are willing to die for.
We see it on the news and in the papers every day.
The struggle for the right of life, free from oppression goes on.
Throughout the world there are unsung heroes who provide us the protection and freedom of speech we take for granted.
One of those people was David Chamberlain.
David was a friend and colleagues of ours for many years and we worked on land projects together.
Dave worked for HM Customs and Excise in an interesting and covert role, before deciding to take up a new post with the Border Management Task Force, in a challenging international collaboration providing border security in Afghanistan.
Dave had a great sense of humour and was good at identifying projects, long before the online tools we use today were even thought of.
His enthusiasm was infectious and we used to meet at a pub in his old home town of Horsham, with big maps and plans spread across a table with pint glasses holding down the corners! Happy days.
We kept in touch, even when the work pressures of his demanding day job meant he had less time to work with us.
He last emailed me to tell me of his new role in Afghanistan.
I wasn’t surprised to hear he’d taken this new position, although I remember thinking at the time; the choices we make in life sometimes lead us into unknown and dangerous places, but our great Country has its foundations in the dedication and spirit of the David Chamberlains’of the world.
The pioneers who understand and embrace the challenges without much attention to their own mortality.
Sadly, David lost his life on Monday the 23rd July when an Afghan police officer shot David and two other US border agents’ dead, wounding two others.
You can read about the incident here.
I pay tribute to my friend and colleague and send my deepest sympathies to his wife Paula and his family.