July 15, 2007
|Killed Aussie 'on way to see kids'
An Australian contractor killed while working in Iraq was on his way to
the airport to fly home to his wife and two young children in Townsville.
Former soldier Justin Saint, 34, was travelling with a convoy to
Baghdad when their vehicle was attacked and blown up about 8km
south-east of the capital.
His colleague, a 38-year-old former police officer from Queensland,
was also killed in the roadside explosion.
A third Australian injured in the blast was taken to a Baghdad hospital
and has since been discharged.
Another colleague from the Philippines was also injured.
The four men were working for a privately-owned security firm based in
the United Arab Emirates called BLP International.
The company had a contract with the United States Department of
Defense to train the Iraqi National Police Service and a spokesperson
said the men had just finished an eight-week rotation and were on their
way out of the country.
Mr Saint's mother-in-law Kathy McIntosh said the family was expecting
him home on Wednesday.
Ms McIntosh described her daughter's husband as a "brilliant man" and
said the family was having a very hard time coming to terms with his
"You couldn't ask for a better husband, father or son-in-law. He is a very
caring person, a brilliant man," a distressed Ms McIntosh told
She said Mr Saint, who left the Australian Defence Force three years
ago, had taken the dangerous work in Iraq to "get ahead for his wife
and children", who were aged nine and six years.
The couple's children had been told but did not yet
understand what had happened, Ms McIntosh said.
"They think he's had an accident."
Iraq blast dads mourned
JUSTIN Saint's wife and two young daughters were planning
for his return home to Townsville tomorrow so they "could be
a family again".
And Brendan Hurst was pining for the baby son that he was forced to
leave behind after his birth three weeks ago. The men – united by their
Queensland origins and their job as contractors in Iraq – were killed on
Sunday in a roadside blast near Baghdad. Their families grieved
yesterday as they realised the men who were training Iraqi police
officers would not be coming home. Mrs Saint's heartbroken wife Kelly
spoke of the loss of the loyal 34-year-old former soldier and father to
Madeleine, 9, and Jenna, 6.
"I just want people to know how much I loved Justin. It is all a bit unreal. I
know I will never get over this. I can't believe he is gone," she said.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. End of sidebar. Return to start
of sidebar. "He was a man of integrity. He wanted to give me and the
girls everything he could. And that is why he made so many sacrifices
for us." "But this was to be the end of it. He wanted to come home so
we could be a family together again."