VC holder Donaldson happy to see dogs get their day
FOR VICTORIA Cross recipient Corporal Mark Donaldson to place the bravery of combat dogs on par with some of the actions he'd seen from soldiers is as big as compliments get.
The Afghanistan veteran won his VC for incredible acts of bravery and disregard for his own life to save others as an SAS member in 2008.
He was up on the Coast to help pay tribute to and raise awareness of the incredible acts of loyalty and bravery displayed by our four-legged friends.
His own dog Devil, a Belgian Shepherd, was killed in combat during the war and he said it was great to see recognition of the plucky pooches.
"I love the dogs and I love what they do for the boys," Corp Donaldson said.
"They've done things equally as important as we've done and equally as heroic."
The Maroochy RSL have been gifted a painting by David Sturmer featuring Corp Donaldson's dog, Devil, by Coast local Peter Hayes.
Corp Donaldson made the journey north to unveil the painting, the latest in a number of tributes to combat dogs in the region.
"Having a dog overseas, it's unique," Corp Donaldson said.
"It's a fairly amazing bond. They'll love you no matter what. They become a part of the team."
The 37-year-old said he missed the action, but was now happy using his profile to help improve veteran affairs and welfare.