|Saturday, 5 April 2003|
by Talia Jayasekera
With war rearing its ugly head in Iraq, the heroic figures that make up the military forces begin to take on a more humane form and are no longer the nameless faces we see marching by in their glory. Their jobs are filled with incredible risks and they leave behind distressed and worried loved ones.
Noel Guneratne is a man who does Sri Lanka proud. He is the Staff Sergeant with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion of Spring Valley that was recently called upon to play their part in this devastating battle.
The task of this fearless group is to clear battle areas of civilians and act as a liaison between military commanders and foreign governments. The soldiers have been trained in basic Arabic but will rely on interpreters to communicate with the public. Guneratne has served 14 years in the military while spending two years with the Civilian Affairs Battalion.
He is a surgical technician, working in three hospitals in the Nanuet region. He and the rest of his 70 comrades have proudly dedicated their lives to protecting civilians from the unmerciful destruction that is war. Their deployment could last between one to two years, a sacrifice they make most willingly.
Produced by Lake House