Monday, March 9, 2009

Latest Afghan Casualties

It's been a bad spell for the Canadians in Afghanistan. Last week we lost three soldiers to an IED strike. This summary from the Globe and Mail:

Warrant Officer Dennis Raymond Brown, a reservist from the Lincoln and Welland Regiment in the Niagara Region, Corporal Dany Oliver Fortin from the 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Bagotville, Que., and Corporal Kenneth Chad O'Quinn from the 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signals Squadron in Petawawa, Ont., were killed when the vehicle in which they were riding ran over a bomb.

See also this press release from the Department of Defence in Ottawa.

From left to right, Warrant Raymond Brown of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, Corporal Kenneth Quinn, a signaller from Newfoundland and Labrador, and Corporal Danny Fortin. Cpl. Fortin's 425 Squadron, from CFB Bagotville in Quebec, has ties with CFB Greenwood, and sends aircraft and pilots here to train. For an Air Force base, it's sobering to see a blue beret in the photos accompanying a casualty announcement, reminding us that this war touches all the Forces, even as the Army bears the brunt of the cost.

On Sunday, Trooper Marc Diab, of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, was also killed by a roadside bomb near Kandahard City.

This excerpt is from CBC News' coverage of the ramp ceremony for Trooper Diab:

The Diab family moved to Canada from war-torn Lebanon in 2000. Canadian and Lebanese flags fly outside their home.

Diab still had ties to his native Lebanon and wrote on a networking site for expatriates that he would return to the country some day.

Online condolences are being sent to his family through a web page set up in his honour.

Diab loved children and was leader of a yearly church camp for kids, where he taught outdoor survival skills, and he was preparing for this year’s camp even from Afghanistan, his mother said.

Jessica Diab pointed to a big 'Thank You' card written by those children for her brother. It was displayed at the Diab home beside a large picture of him in uniform.

"They were saying good bye to him because he was going in September to Afghanistan. All the kids wrote this card for him — 'Good bye we are going to miss you.' Even though he was only 22 years old he loved everyone. He was an amazing guy. He was loving and caring," she said.

Diab also played keyboards and taught Arabic at Toronto’s Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church.

Father Emmanuel Nakhle said Diab was a born leader and a hero to the children.

"He was deeply involved in the community and for sure the community will miss such a person and for long years. It was shocking news."

The family had been counting the days for Diab's return to Canada. Now, his body is expected back in Canada on Wednesday.

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon them.

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Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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