Army dog handlers remember fellow soldier killed in Afghanistan |

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Army dog handlers remember fellow soldier killed in Afghanistan

Army dog handlers remember fellow soldier killed in Afghanistan

Czech military dog handlers commemorated today their fellow soldier Tomas Prochazka, who was killed by a local assailant in Afghanistan exactly a year ago, Military Medical Agency spokeswoman Lada Ferkalova has said on the army's website.

The ceremonial military parade was also attended by the dead soldier's family and other guests.

Prochazka, who served as a dog handler with a special forces unit, died at the age of 41 after an Afghan soldier opened fire at a passing-by Czech military vehicle at the Shindand base in the Herat province in Afghanistan on October 22, 2018.

Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar promoted Prochazka to the rank of staff warrant officer and decorated him with the State Defence Cross posthumously.

President Milos Zeman is to give the Medal of Heroism in memoriam to Prochazka on the national holiday, October 28, commemorating Czechoslovakia's establishment in 1918.

"We all have lost a friend in Tomas (Prochazka). Strong courage was hidden behind his frank and responsible personality and his reserved behaviour," Andrej Vitek, the commander of the military dog-handling centre in Chotyne, said.

"During his 15 years in the military, he became one of the best experts in dog handling and besides, he was a true soldier," Vitek added.

Prochazka received nine medals and orders during his military career, Vitek reminded.

Born in Prachatice in December 1976, Prochazka lived with his family in Hradek nad Nisou, north Bohemia, in the past years.

He joined the military in 2002. First, he served as a driver with the 4th rapid deployment brigade. After two years, he switched to the dog-handling unit, assisting in the training of dozens of dogs. Prochazka took part in four foreign missions, twice in Kosovo, once in Iraq and once in Afghanistan.

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