Fri August 31, 2012 2:42pm
A BROTHER of one of the Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan this week says he was "just such a top guy".
Gary McDonald, whose brother, Lance Corporal Mervyn McDonald, died with Private Nathanael Galagher when their helicopter crashed in Helmand province, told ABC radio that "we never thought it would actually happen to us".
"But we're just very proud of him and just hope people understand what's going on over there and why he was over there.
"He actually just sent us a postcard earlier this month about how things were going.
"He showed us footage of what he was doing, how he trained and flew in on his helicopters.
"Mervyn was a hell of a guy, he was. Would always do things for you. He was always sending stuff to my kids.
"He really wanted to start a family. He's a very big family person... we just can't believe he's gone.
"He had a heart of gold. He was always trying to make sure that we were OK. He was just such a top guy.
"He was just always one of those people who'd always pick you up and help you and just... make sure you knew he was there.
"But now he's not there... so he's going to be surely lost by all of us.
"I just want him to be remembered."
Meanwhile, Prince Charles has sent condolences to the families of the five soldiers killed in Afghanistan, saying he was utterly horrified to hear the news.
In a message sent to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Governor-General Quentin Bryce, the Prince of Wales said he could begin to imagine the anguish for the families because his own sons - Prince William and Prince Harry - served in the British armed forces.