'A man selfless in the face of threat. Courageous in the face of terror. Generous in the face of suffering. And humble in the face of an honour bestowed.'
Dame Quentin Bryce
On 24 August 2010, in battle in Afghanistan, Corporal Daniel Keighran risked his life in a hail of gunfire to save his fellow soldiers. His actions saw him awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, making him the 99th Australian to receive our country's highest award for bravery.
Courage Under Fire tells of Daniel's unlikely journey to become one of Australia's most celebrated soldiers.
Growing up was tough for Daniel. When he was eleven, his father showed up in his life, for the first time, with a gunshot wound to the stomach. He relocated his son, daughter and their mother 400 kilometres away from their loving grandparents and a coastal home to a shack with a dirt floor in outback Queensland. From then on, Daniel fought to maintain a sense of order and purpose amid the chaos of family violence and criminal activity.
Inspired by his much-loved grandfather, a WWII veteran, Daniel joined the army. There he found the structure that was missing from his teen years. Although just 17, Daniel adapted quickly to the demands of life in the military, always willing to learn, always wanting to grow, always seeking to emulate the example of his grandfather.
Courage Under Fire is an outstanding military memoir, packed with tales of multiple tours, accounts of extraordinary camaraderie, and a reflection on the unseen cost of service. Most of all it is a testament to the idea that anything is possible if you know what you stand for.
Courage Under Fire
Daniel Keighran VC was born in 1983 in Nambour, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. At age eleven, he moved with his family to Lowmead, living on a forty-acre property. Daniel joined the Australian Army in 2000. He deployed to Malaysia, East Timor, Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. He received the Victoria Cross for his actions in the battle of Derapet on 24 August 2010. He was presented the VC in November 2012 by the Governor-General of Australia, Dame Quentin Bryce. Daniel discharged from the regular army in 2011. He became a Council Member of the Australian War Memorial in 2016. Daniel now lives in Brisbane and works for Thales.