DIANA Tutora, the grandmother of slain British Army soldier Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi, believes SAS hero Talaiasi Labalaba deserves the Victoria Cross.
Mrs Tutora, who received the Elizabeth Cross awarded to Pte Silibaravi, said Labalaba should be properly honoured by the army he fought and died for.
"Labalaba should be given the Victoria Cross because he died fighting for freedom in a profession he loved," she said.
She said for such men and women, soldiering was a job they wanted and they should be well awarded for excelling in their chosen profession.
Speaking to The Fiji Times, she said Fijian soldiers who were fighting wars all over the world deserved recognition and respect.
When questioned on her views regarding Fijian soldiers fighting other countries wars, Mrs Tutora said the soldiers were fighting on their own free will.
"These soldiers love the job they are doing and they choose to be in these countries to fight," she said.
She added Pte Silibaravi was no exception.
"During one of our conversations I asked him to come back home because he had served his time and was now going again to other countries where there were bombs and he might die," she said.
"But he said that wherever he went there was always a chance that he would die, regardless of whether there were bombs or not."
Pte Silibaravi, from Ligau Village on Kia Island in Macuata, was killed with his colleague, Corporal Andrew Steven Roberts, in an indirect fire attack in the northern part of Nahr-e Saraj district in Afghanistan.
Only one Fijian has been awarded the Victoria Cross ," Sefanaia Sukanaivalu ," who died under Japanese fire during the 1944 Bougainville campaign while attempting to rescue his comrades.