Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas with the Troops in Kandahar

December 24, 2006

MP's, Entertainers to Spend Christmas with the Troops in Kandahar

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN--Canadian troops in Kandahar got a surprise visit today from a Canadian group which includes Canada's Defence Chief, a Cabinet Minister, two Members of Parliament, three well-known entertainers, a news anchor and a Quebec Rock Group.

The group will be spending Christmas in Kandahar with Canada's 2,500 troops, development workers, police and diplomats.
Gen. Rick Hillier celebrated with his family a week ago so he could spend Christmas with Canadian troops in Afghanistan. The chief of the defence staff flew yesterday to the patrol frigate HMCS Ottawa in the Persian Gulf to start a whirlwind holiday tour. Hillier brought along some entertainment, including comedians Rick Mercer and Mary Walsh and the Montreal rock band Jonas. Shoehorning a family Christmas into his schedule was one thing, finding time for shopping for his wife, Joyce, two sons and grandson Jack was another. "I had to beg forgiveness based on future recompense," he said.

Gen. Rick Hillier gets off the aircraft in
Kandahar airfield on Sunday. He said
he celebrated Christmas with his family
a week earlier so he could spend time
with troops in Afghanistan.
Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen Rick Hillier is also accompanied by Treasury Board President, the honourable John Baird; Members of Parliament, Laurie Hawn and Jay Hill; entertainers Rick Mercer and Mary Walsh; Ottawa News Anchor, Max Keeping; singer Damhnait Doyle, and the rock group Jonas. The visiting group also brought some Christmas gifts along for the Kandahar-based Canadians.

Gen. Rick Hillier shakes hands with most of the soldiers, asking some if they were getting enough sleep and teasing another about his spiky hair.

The holiday season is far from the minds of soldiers working in the field, who say they're focused on the job at hand. Back at the base, however, there are Christmas decorations in the main eating area.
Some soldiers said their families held early Christmas gatherings before they left for Afghanistan in November. One soldier who is heading home in February said his family members planned to keep their tree up until then. (I believe many parents and families will be doing the same)

I know many Military Moms wish they could be there as well (serving up the coffee, putting out the turkey, wearing Santa hats) - but I know our hearts are there with our troops always.

Merry Christmas to Our Soldiers
from all Military Moms and Dads

and Families and Friends

xoaAcross Canada!

See the post below with Christmas greetings from our soldiers to families.

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