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Victoria Cross - Queen honours Australian trooper
Also thanks to Dumbledore's Army
The Queen has spoken to an Australian soldier who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery in Afghanistan.
In a private ceremony at Windsor Castle, SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson was honoured for his extraordinary achievements in saving the lives of a number of fellow soldiers while under fire from the Taliban.
Thinking about it now it's, I don't know, to me like it was back then, it was just what we had to do at the time and it was just a part of the job and that's combat," he said.
"Whatever happens at the time is what you've just got to do to get through it. Like I've always said, I was only one person amongst many that were there that day, and many other things did happen that day so yeah, it was definitely a group effort."
Trooper Donaldson also saved an Afghan interpreter, in the process, running back nearly 100 metres under fire.
"Everyone just had to get out of there and we just wanted to make sure no-one was left behind," he said.
Trooper Donaldson acknowledges there is controversy at the moment over the deployment of troops in Afghanistan but he says that is not for him to comment on.
"That's one of those things that's a political question and I'm not here to talk about that today, I'm here to meet the Queen."
And later he will be reunited with an old friend.
An Australian Special Forces explosives detection dog has been found alive and well almost 14 months after going missing in action (MIA) in Afghanistan.
Sabi was found by a US soldier at an isolated patrol base in north-eastern Uruzgan last week.
The black Labrador was declared MIA in September 2008 during the same battle with the Taliban in which SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson won his Victoria Cross.
Sabi was present with her handler when their combined Australian, US and Afghan National Army convoy was ambushed by an insurgent force.
Nine Australian soldiers, including Sabi's handler, were wounded during the engagement.
Sabi spent more than a year in the desolate south of Afghanistan and repeated attempts were made by the Special Operations Task Group to find her.
The US soldier who found her, and who can only be identified by his first name John, was aware Australian Special Forces soldiers were missing one of their explosive detection dogs.
He said it was immediately obvious that Sabi was no ordinary dog.
Trooper Mark Donaldson said Sabi's return closed a chapter of their shared history.
"She's the last piece of the puzzle," he said. "Having Sabi back gives some closure for the handler and the rest of us that served with her in 2008. It's a fantastic morale booster for the guys."
At the time of her disappearance Sabi was coming to the end of her second tour of duty in Afghanistan, having previously deployed to Uruzgan in 2007.
Sabi will now undergo a period of quarantine before a decision can be made about the timing of her return to Australia.