Soldier’s death: ‘I’ll never get to hug him again’
LIAM Wolf will be awarded the rank of private alongside his platoon on Friday, achieving in death what the army recruit had been working so hard for.
The 18-year-old, who dreamt of being a commando, was just days away from completing his army training when police suspect he fell 5m from an underground ladder at Kapooka, in NSW.
Yesterday, his family was by his bedside when they made the heart-wrenching decision to switch off his life support because of the severity of his brain injury.
"He was fighting all the way, he didn't want to give up," his mother Susan Devine said.
"I know he died doing something he loved. He would have been soaring over that field."
The Australian Defence Force will give the former Alexandra Hills State High School student a military funeral and his mother said he would be buried alongside his older sister Amelia, who died at just two days of age, before Liam was born.
"A military funeral is something he would have wanted and would have been quite proud of," Ms Devine said.
Today, Liam's mother and partner Marcelo were meant to travel to NSW for Liam's marching out parade.
Instead, they were left struggling to deal with the "terrible tragedy" that has robbed their family of so much.
Liam's older brother Izaak, 21, got engaged just three weeks ago and never got the chance to ask his only brother to be his best man.
Younger sister Alanah, 15, who Liam always looked out for and "loved to stir", and his father Nathan who shared a "close bond" with Liam, are shattered.
Ms Devine said they were now clinging to the many memories they had of Liam, a "larrikin" who loved to push the limits and was "totally fearless".
"He was such a lively person. He had so much impact on so many people's lives," Ms Devine said.
"He was a loyal friend and would do anything for anyone. He was very generous and liked to have fun. I could never get him indoors, he loved dogs and camping and motorbikes."
Ms Devine said she was extremely proud of Liam's determination to join the army and felt he had found "his calling".
At first, Ms Devine said the training had been a "big shock", but said her son had risen to all challenges, developing a keen eye with a rifle and earning the respect of his platoon.
"He loved where he was and what he was doing," she said.
Ms Devine said the family had decided to donate Liam's organs, finding small peace in the knowledge that his life would help others.
"He was so strong physically, so we wanted to give the gift of life to someone else," she said.
"He's living through other people now."
The last time Ms Devine saw her son was at his enlistment ceremony on February 4.
"He was pretty excited to be down there and doing what he wanted to do," she said.
"I just hugged him. I'll never get to hug him again or feel his arms around me."