A highly decorated retired Australian soldier dies in sad circumstances and the Sydney Morning Herald gives it this treatment:
The death of this highly decorated ex SAS soldier gets the innuendo/gossip treatment by Fairfax because Jerry Rouwhorst worked for Gina Rinehart's company as a security guard after he left the army.
Here is the Governor General's citation for his Bravery for Mr Rouwhorst:
Mr Jeremiah John ROUWHORST, Tas
During the afternoon of 20 May 2007, Mr Rouwhorst assisted a man injured during a riot at Dili,Timor Leste.
A riot involving almost 200 people broke out near the World Bank building in Dili, escalating into violence with several police personnel injured and vehicles damaged. As events intensified, a man was hit by stones and knocked unconscious. While he lay defenceless on the ground, rioters continued to attack him with sticks and rocks. Witnessing the callous act, Mr Rouwhorst left the safety of the Bank and tried to drag the victim into the bank compound. While dragging the victim into the compound he came under heavy attack. Once inside Mr Rouwhorst began administering first aid to the victim but was forced to retreat deeper into the compound to shelter from the barrage of stones. Realising the victim required hospital treatment, Mr Rouwhorst placed the man in a bank vehicle, and as they headed out into the crowd of rioters to drive to hospital, their windows were smashed in a sustained attack. Sadly the victim later died as a result of his injuries.
For his actions, Mr Rouwhorst is commended for brave conduct.
One of his special forces mates has copied us on a letter he has written to the paper. Will be interesting to see if they publish it:
Jerry Rouwhorst is a good friend of mine from the army and I found out about his death two days ago but I am sickened at your newspapers coverage of his death today.
He was a very decorated and distinguished soldier who was shot twice during Special Ops responses in the Middle East in and spent years recovering but still he took deployments.
You only know half of the East Timor story and who it was he saved let alone how he did it.
And your paper portrays him in such a trivial light because you think this is a celebrity story. He has a family in country Tasmania who knew their son took risks in his life but probably never imagined his death would end up a sidebar in your atttempt to have a dig at someone.
I guess you've never heard of post traumatic stress? This bloke lived with it every day and the Rinehart's employed him and supported him through his terrible ordeal.
Everything might be shits and giggles in your world but this bloke did more for Australia than I can ever tell you and I am sickened at your attitude to him.
I would appreciate you not publishing my name because of unit rules and security protocols.