Saturday, June 30, 2007


Start sending in your Tim Hortons Certificates today!

Here's a reminder about a great opportunity to help give our troops a taste of home.. Tim Hortons! Starting on Canada Day, July 1st until July 31st, send in your Tim Horton's Gift certificates! (If you want to start sending them now you can, if you've already purchased them. ) I have listed the address below. (They would truly enjoy that early morning taste of coffee or tea.. or a refreshing ice cap. on a hot day when in KAF.)

BUT WAIT...BEFORE MAILING THEM....The Tim Hortons for Our Troops group is also asking that you write an individual message to our troops on the back of each certificate if you would like to, or even just your name and location just to simply let them know that we are thinking about them back home.

(what an awesome idea!)

How to get them to our troops you ask?? ...
You can either:

1) Drop the certificates off at your local Military Resource family center with contact name: Susan Tom c/o Tim Hortons For Our Troops written on the envelope they will all be forwarded to the correct location. orrrrrrr.....

2) Mail the certificates to the official address:

C/O Susan Tom - Tim Hortons for the Troops

5 Yukon Lane

Toronto, ON M3k 0A1

As they say.. When was the last time you put $2.52 to such good use?

$2 Tim Hortons Certificate + 52 cent stamp = Support for Our Troops!

For information, email: or

Thank you Susan Tom and "Tim Hortons for Our Troops" group and David!

Check out their new website:

Canada..Let's give our soldiers a taste of home!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Funeral for Pte Joel Vincent Wiebe

WIEBE, Pte Joel Vincent On
Wednesday, June 20, 2007,
Pte. Joel Vincent Wiebe died
in the service of his county, in
Afghanistan at the age of 22
years. Fondly remembered by
his loving spouse and soulmate
Anna Marie; father Joe (Nilda)
Wiebe and his mother Sherry
Clark; sisters:Michelle (Brandon),
Marcie, Amanda (Sean); brothers:
Ben and Lance as well as nieces:
Kali, Sydney, Dalyla and nephew Xander and grandparents.
Joel will also be greatly missed by his numerous other
relatives, friends and serving members of the Canadian
Forces. Joel will be buried with full Military Honours,
his Funeral Service on Saturday will be by invitation
only. In lieu of other tributes, donations may be made
to Edmonton Humane Society, 12251-67 Street,
Edmonton, AB T5B 1M8.
Serenity Funeral Service, 5311-91 Street,
450-0101. Condolences:
Your Community Owned Not For Profit Society.
June 30th, 2007

Sherry Clark, centre left, mother of Private Joel Wiebe, and Wiebe's
finacee Anna Thede, centre right, embrace as pallbearers
with 3 PPCLI prepare to drape a Canadian flag over Wiebe's
casket following a funeral at Trinity Lutheran Church in Edmonton yesterday.
Photo Credit: Tim Smith

It was a funeral, not a wedding. Pte. Joel Wiebe and Anna Thede

were supposed to get married on Feb. 18 next year at the

Trinity Lutheran Church, after the soldier's tour of duty in


Instead, Thede watched the fallen soldier's light oak coffin

as it came out of a hearse yesterday morning outside

the church on 81 Avenue and 100 Street.

Later, Sherry Clark, the soldier's mother, held Thede's

hand, as other family members stood beside them outside

the church and watched the ceremonial dressing of the

casket with a Canadian flag after the funeral.

Under the sunny blue sky and with a gentle wind blowing, Wiebe's beret, medals, white dress belt with bayonet and a wreath were ceremoniously placed on top of the coffin before burial.

"This is a small step in our grieving process. Family and friends gathered today to remember the wonderful man that Joel was, and the life he had," Wiebe's common-law wife said in a statement released by Edmonton Garrison.

"Though we are all very sad, we find strength in being together, and the many fond memories we have of Joel."

About 300 people, including 20 honour guards and about 200 regimental comrades from Wiebe's Edmonton 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, family members and friends packed the small church.

The funeral service was solemn, Thede's friend Heather Worden told Sun Media.

"Anna is doing very well," she added. Some church parishioners wanted to attend the service, but Wiebe's family asked that reporters and the public not attend the funeral and burial ceremonies.

Ten-year-old Elexis Ortlieb was at the funeral with her mom Ellen, who is Thede's friend.

"It was emotional," said the young girl, describing the service, adding she almost teared up.

"I felt a whole range of emotions. I felt sad and mad. But I'm just so happy that he's not suffering anymore. It's so nice to see that everyone has so much strength."

Thede sang with her friends a hymn called Blessed Be the Name, Ortlieb told Sun Media.

"Her voice resounded strong, she has a beautiful voice."

The dead soldier's mom appeared strong and steadfast in her euology, she said.

But what moved Ortlieb the most was Wiebe's favourite hymn, the classic Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory.

"Throughout you can imagine the attitude of the young men as they went off to do their duties," she said.


The funeral service concluded with the Rainbow Song, chosen by Wiebe's sister Amanda, because on the morning the family heard of the soldier's death, "they saw a rainbow on the sky," Ortlieb said.

"The song says, everything is going to be OK."

Wiebe, who would have turned 23 last week, was buried at the Glenwood Memorial Gardens cemetery in Sherwood Park after a full military honour.

Edmonton's 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia will hold a military memorial service for the three dead soldiers at a later date in August.

Funeral of Cpl Stephen Frederick Bouzane

BOUZANE, Corporal Stephen Frederick– It is with great sadness that the family of the late Corporal Stephen Frederick Bouzane announce his passing at Kandahar, Afghanistan on June 20, 2007 at the age of 26. Stephen was a member of the Canadian Forces 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, C Company, CFB Edmonton. Predeceased by grandfathers: Thomas Snook of St. Albans and Francis Bouzane of Little Bay. Left with fond and loving memories are his parents: Moureen and Fred of St. Albans; sister, Kelly of Scarborough, Ontario; grandmothers: Lucy Bouzane of Little Bay and Cecilia Snook of St. Albans. Also leaving to mourn a large number of aunts, uncles, relatives and friends. Father Eugene Morris and Father David Joy conducted the funeral service at the Sacred Heart Parish in St. Patrick’s on June 30, 2007. Interment was at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in St. Patrick’s. Pallbearers were provided by 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, CFB Edmonton. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Ken Goodyear and the staff of Central Funeral Homes.
Cpl. Stephen Bouzane was born on March 21, 1981 in Springdale, Newfoundland, but grew up in Toronto. He enlisted in the Regular Force, land component, on June 4, 2003. After completing basic training, he was posted to 3 PPCLI in Edmonton, AB, where he was employed as a rifleman with C Coy (Para), with whom he deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, as part of Task Force 1-07. He was qualified Basic Mountain Operations, Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Infantry Platoon Support Weapons, and LUVW driver, among others. Stephen had no relatives in Edmonton, but had many good friends amongst C Coy and the Battalion. He died while on duty in the province of Kandahar on June 20, 2007. He is survived by his parents Moureen and Fred, as well as his sister, Kelly.

June 30th, 2007

Kelly Bouzane, sister of Cpl. Stephen Bouzane, stays by his grave after his funeral in Sacred Heart Cemetery in St. Patricks, NL, on June 30, 2007. Photo credit: Andrew Vaughan

Moments after she was handed a folded Canadian flag that draped over her brother's coffin, Kelly Bouzane knelt down and kissed the casket as nearly everyone in this central Newfoundland hamlet of less than 400 people looked on, mourning the loss of a native son.

Cpl. Stephen Bouzane was remembered as a loyal son and soldier that younger troops admired at a funeral service that brought out mixed emotions over Canada's involvement in Afghanistan.

After the funeral, Kelly Bouzane thanked all Canadian Armed Forces personnel and wished for their safe return home.

"We love you, we're thinking of you. Come home safe to us," she said, clutching the Canadian flag with her father, Fred, as she choked back tears.

"Stephen will be watching over all of you," she said.

Outside Sacred Heart Parish Roman Catholic Church, Gloria Wellman and two other people hoisted a large Canadian flag in tribute to Bouzane's sacrifice in the war-torn country. Bouzane was born in St. Patricks but spent most of his life growing up in Toronto before he took on an active role with the Edmonton-based 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Maj. Glen Zilkahns said Bouzane was a model leader who lived life to its fullest.

"He went out of his way to welcome these young soldiers, to train them, to make them part of the family," Zilkahns said.

"He knew there was a difference between living a life that mattered and merely existing."

Bouzane died June 20 after the unarmoured vehicle he was in was hit by a roadside bomb, west of Kandahar.

Funeral services for Sgt. Christos Karigiannis and Pte. Joel Wiebe, who also died in the blast, were held Saturday in Quebec and Alberta. All three belonged to the same battalion.

Their deaths prompted the Canadian military to suspend the use of the unarmoured vehicles, known as Gators, outside secure compounds.

Funeral of Sergeant Christos Karigianis

The funeral service for SergeantChristos Karigiannis
will take place at
Sainte-Rose-de-Lima Church,
219 Sainte-Rose Boulevard
Laval (Que)
on Saturday, June 30, 2007
at 11:00 a.m.
    At the family's request, media may attend the
funeral but will be restricted to the exterior of
the church. Interment will follow the funeral service
at the Sainte-Dorothée cemetary in Laval. The
interment will be open to the media but the family
wishes to mourn privately, hence no interviews will
be given. A 20-soldier escort with accompany the casket
and its pallbearers to the church where they will
be greeted by a 12-soldier ceremonial guard.
Sergeant Karigiannis was a member of the 3rd
Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light
Infantry(3 PPCLI),based in Edmonton.
He and two other Canadian soldiers died at
approximately 8 a.m. Kandahar time June 20,
when the vehicle in which they were traveling
struck a suspected improvised explosive
device on the main road, approximately 40 km
west of Kandahar City. The incident occurred
while the soldiers were conducting resupply
operations between checkpoints.
The Karigiannis family wishes that in lieu of
flowers, a donation be given to a charitable
organization such as CARE,in his memory.
In this manner, they hope to contribute to the
reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

Chris' Obituary:

SEPTEMBER 20, 1976 JUNE 20, 2007

Chris was a proud and dedicated member of the Canadian
Forces. He will always be remembered for his strong
convictions and devotion to excellence. Chris is
survived by his mother Niki, his brothers Peter and
Spiro, his sisters-in-law Nancy and Panagiota and his
niece Anastasia. The funeral service will be held at
11:00 a.m. on Saturday,June 30 at Church Ste-Rose
de Lima, 219 Ste-Rose Blvd. in Laval.
Interment will follow at the Ste-Dorothée Cemetery in
Laval.There will be no public viewing. In lieu
of flowers, the family requests donations be made to
charities such as CARE,to help build schools and
hospitals in Afghanistan.

June 30th 2007

Pallbearers carry the casket of Sgt. Christos Karigiannis
after his funeral service at the Sainte-Rose-de-Lima Church
in Laval, Que. on Saturday June 30, 2007,
followed by his mother Niki Karigiannis
(second from right). Photo by CP Peter McCabe

In Montreal, eight members of the Princess Patricia Canadian

Light Infantry slowly carried the remains of Karigiannis under

sunny skies into a Laval church.

The 31-year-old was a member of the Princess Pat's 3rd

Battalion based in Edmonton.Soldiers stood guard as

Karigiannis's family followed his casket inside St. Rose Church,

where over 1,000 people filed by.

The words, "he was a humble man, fiercely proud of his

profession" drifted outside to waiting media - barred from the

funeral itself -- from a church service given in Greek, English

and French. Afterward, soldiers stressed the challenges their

fallen friend was willing to confront. "Nothing seemed to be to

big for him to get around or to overcome." said Sgt. Dwayne

MacDougall, who served in Canada with Karigiannis.

Church bells rang out as friends and family followed Karigiannis’s

flag-draped casket through a military procession.

Verses of O Canada echoed from the open doors of Sainte-Rose

-de-Lima Church during the ceremony. While the casket was

carried from the church, a tear rolled down the left cheek of a soldier

in the procession. Master Corporal Emily Cavanaugh was trained

by Karigiannis as a cadet. She says he was an inspirational

instructor. Cavanaugh says he told young trainees to love

whatever it was they chose to do.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Canada Day Parade - Support Our Troops

Support Our Troops
Canada Day Parade
Sunday, July 1st, 2007
1:00 pm
King and Bishop Sts
Cambridge, ON

Families of Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan, along with several Afghan Veterans, will be proudly participating in Cambrige's Canada Day Parade.
If you'd like to assist or join us, are a soldier or family member, like to wear red and show your support for our troops, contact the committee liason person (by email):

The largest Canada Day parade in Canada, live bands, FREE games and activities, new beer garden, and the best fireworks in town. Entertain the entire family with activities all day and night! Parade starts at 1pm at King & Bishop Streets and ends at Riverside Park. Celebrate Canada Day Cambridge Style! All day events at Riverside Park start at 8am and end with fabulous fireworks display at dusk. Events include fishing derby, midway rides, and entertainment.

Calling All Military Families....



In support of the Chief of Defence Staff Military Families Fund

Friday 29 June 2007

from 1000 to 1500 hrs

127 York Street

in the

Byward Market - Ottawa, ON

If you are unable to attend, phone or email and leave a message for your loved ones overseas!! (see the number/address below)
Military families.. this is a chance to reach out to our troops overseas!

98.5 The Jewel, radio station in Ottawa is answering General Hillier’s call to action. From the front steps of their station at 127 York Street, in the heart of the Byward Market, 98.5 The Jewel will kick off Canada Day with a Live Broadcast and Fundraising BBQ in support of the newly established Chief of Defence Staff’s Military Families Fund on Friday, June 29th from 10am to 3pm.

“Your efforts to support our troops in Afghanistan, and all our military families through your fundraising BBQ on the eve of Canada Day is a brilliant expression of support for our troops, and something that you well know is near and dear to my heart”

- General Rick Hillier, Chief of Defence Staff.

M&M Meats is providing the hamburgers for a minimum donation of $3.00. All proceeds from the sale of hamburgers will be donated to the Military Families Fund.

The live broadcast may be heard throughout the world through the Internet but more importantly it will be heard in Kandahar, Afghanistan – the broadcast will provide an opportunity to link deployed soldiers with their families here in Ottawa. Messages to friends or loved ones can be left :

on voicemail number: 613-241-4317 extension 2298

or can be posted/email to:

In attendance will be families of our deployed troops and celebrities.

Gen Hillier will be present at approximately 1330 hrs.

Heat Wave Hit Southern Ontario - June 26th

For our friends and families serving in Afghanistan... today, we got a "taste" of Afghan weather. Much of South-West Ontario, broiled today under temperatures that hit 36 degrees (C)
With the humidex (yuk) it was an equivalent of 43 degrees (c)! Not much can be done when it's this hot. (we didn't have to wear uniforms and carry those heavy rucksacks.. in the sun) Yes, we had to drink lots of fluids.. and we found that yes.. chocolate DOES in fact melt in these temperatures.

It's a scorcher!! ...I really and truly sympathize with you.
What can we do to help you?

Cookstown mother Julie Brown answered the call to put herself in harm's way and serve her country, one coffee at a time.

This posting was sent to me by my friend Jane. I believe she sent it to me for 2 reasons. 1) to share with you.. and 2) well.. I can't really say just yet.
Oh.. and... p.s... a reminder to start sending your Tim Hortons certificates in. See "Upcoming Events" listed in the column to the right.


Mother Answers the Call to Put Herself in Harm's Way
This is an article from The Toronto Sun - Written by friend Joe W.

She has had the rare honour of serving her country at the same time as serving those who serve.

And Julie Brown, amongst many other brave civilians who have done a tour in Afghanistan, is a special kind of war veteran.

"It was life changing," said Brown, who has been back from Kandahar just one week after six months of working in the famous Tim Hortons franchise at the Kandahar Airfield. "I was so proud to be able to do my part to help these fine men and women who sacrifice so much."

The 34-year-old Cookstown mother of two sacrificed as well.

For six months she put herself in harm's way to take the job at the Tim's in a war zone.

"My kids wanted me to do it," she said. "And I really wanted to do my part."

"We are so proud of her," her boyfriend, Ed Knox, said. "We were fully behind her decision right from the beginning."

She had a call to service.

"But not everybody can join the military and be a soldier," Brown said. "This was what I could do."

She had worked as an assistant manager at a Tim Hortons in Newmarket for seven years and knew the ropes. But it did not prepare her for what would go on in Kandahar.

You don't have to wear combat gear on your way to work in Newmarket, and you never hear explosions and rocket launchers either


"When I first got there I was thinking, 'What did I get myself into?' " she said.

And then she met the soldiers.

"They are so brave," she said. "All of us were so impressed with them. I hope Canadians know how special they are."

The Tim Hortons there has all of the same trademarks and a lot of same products.

The difference?

The lineups are a little longer.

"People would line up for an hour for a coffee," she said. "If this was at home, people would complain for sure. But nobody ever complained there."

Even Gen. Rick Hillier, NHL stars like Tiger Williams and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have stood in that line -- as well as troops from the United States and Great Britain, and even some Afghan locals became hooked on the Iced Cappuccinos.

She said there was just something about the coffee, bagel and doughnut that went over so well with the troops.

"I know whenever I was around the Kandahar Airfield I went there every day," said Master Clp. Jody Mitic, who is home after being injured in the line of duty. "It was a real morale booster for everyone."

Brown said you could see that on every soldier's face.

"I think it was a little piece of home and for five minutes you forgot about where you were."

But there would be constant reminders of exactly where you were.

"You'd see guys pull up in a tank or armoured vehicle, wearing full combat gear, get off and come over and order coffees, get back on the tank with them and go out on patrol," she said, shaking her head in amazement.

Sometimes some of those soldiers didn't come back.

"You'd know something was wrong because everything would be locked down," she said.


Then the harsh reality hits the base. In her time there, she felt the pain of more than 20 soldiers dying in action.

"I didn't know every name but I knew every face," she said. "The hardest thing over there was the ramp ceremonies to send them home."

While it was difficult, she needed to be there and understands why people here are drawn to the Hwy. 401 overpasses to salute the fallen soldiers as they're brought home.

As difficult is it is to deal with, she said, everybody would get back to work and soldier on.

And people like Julie Brown are proud to do that.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Soldiers Returned Home


June 24-07 1730

A bag piper played three separate tributes to the latest Canadian casualties killed in Afghanistan as the bodies of three Canadian soldiers were returned to Canadian soil Sunday.

A grey military aircraft carrying the bodies of Sgt. Christos Karigiannis, Cpl. Stephen Bouzane and Pte. Joel Wiebe flew into this eastern Ontarion military base to be greeted by grieving family members.

Gov. Gen Michaelle Jean, former governor general Adrienne Clarkson, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor and Gen. Rick Hillier were also present.

As a former governor general, Clarkson attended the ceremony in her military capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of Edmonton's 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the unit in which all three men served.

Before the plane landed, Hillier addressed a throng of supporters who lined the gates surrounding the tarmac while waving Canadian flags.

Trenton, Ont. resident Brenda Miller said she stands outside the gates of the tarmac during every repatriation ceremony.

"I wish they'd come home better," she said, waving a small flag inscribed with the names of all 60 Canadian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan.

"I'm just so upset I can't even talk tonight."

Once the doors of the military aircraft opened, the soldiers' caskets were carried from the aircraft in descending order of rank.

Visibly-emotional family members of each soldier were physically supported by one another as their loved ones completed their final journey home.

Karigiannis' body was the first to be lifted from the aircraft and returned to his grieving family. One relative wept and held her face in her hands as she welcomed him home.

As Karigiannis' body was loaded into a waiting hearse, Bouzane's family held onto one another as they prepared to receive him.

One family member held out a pink rose and kissed it as soldiers marched across the tarmac bearing Bouzane's casket.

Another clutched a framed photograph of the 26-year-old.

After paying personal tributes to their fallen soldier, Bouzane's family stood aside as the casket containing Wiebe's body was carried from the aircraft.

Speaking last week, Wiebe's fiancee Anna Thede described Wiebe as a committed soldier who was devoted to family, adding that he had life-long aspirations for a military career.

"This job is what Joel chose. This is the job that Joel wanted," she said. "He was very proud to be a part of this."

The three soldiers were killed Wednesday when their unarmoured vehicle, known as a Gator, was struck by a roadside bomb west of Kandahar.

The soldiers' deaths caused the Canadian military to suspend the use of Gators outside secure compounds.

Roadside bombs are responsible for more than one-third of the deaths of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Are the Taliban Hiding Behind Afghan Villagers?

NATO blames Taliban fighters for civilian deaths in air strike
June 23-07

Afghan villager cries in despair as he holds a piece of grass bread
in Afghanistan. Besieged by the Taliban and crushed by years of
crop-devastating drought,the people in the region are dying.
NATO accused Taliban fighters yesterday of provoking an air strike that reportedly killed 25 innocents, including three infants and nine women, while a Dutch general charged that insurgents executed villagers during another battle.
The allegations come amid a new surge of criticism over civilian deaths during attacks by foreign forces, a debate that underlines how the five-year-old war against insurgents is also a struggle for hearts and minds among long-suffering Afghans and voters in NATO countries.
President Hamid Karzai and others have long complained that civilian losses in NATO or U.S.-led operations are undermining the effort to stabilize Afghanistan and prevent a Taliban comeback. The deaths are "difficult for us to accept or understand,'' Karzai said Thursday.
NATO commanders are adamant that the militants -- not foreign forces -- deserve most of the blame for the toll among civilians.
An alliance statement said NATO aircraft struck after Taliban fighters attacked troops from NATO's International Security Assistance Force about 15 kilometres northeast of the town of Gereshk.
"A compound was assessed to have been occupied by up to 30 insurgent fighters, most of whom were killed in the engagement,'' the statement said.
Lt.-Col. Mike Smith, a NATO spokesperson, expressed concern about Afghan police reports that civilians also died in the air strike. But he said insurgents chose the time and place for their attack, so "the risk to civilians was probably deliberate.''
"It is this irresponsible action that may have led to casualties,'' he said.
The air strike killed 20 militants, but it also wiped out two civilian families totalling 25 people, including nine women, three babies and a mullah, provincial police Chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal told Associated Press.
"NATO was targeting the areas where the (insurgent) fire was coming from . . . and two compounds were completely destroyed, and the families living in those compounds were killed,'' he said.
Military commanders said their forces have to be free to respond to attacks.
"If someone is firing at our troops they have the right to defend themselves and have the right to fire at a position which is firing at them,'' said another NATO spokesperson, Maj. John Thomas. "If the enemy has put themselves in an area where they are firing from among civilians, this is when we sometimes have casualties.''
Thomas said NATO forces try to monitor a target from the air and ground for any civilians. "But in the cases like (Gereshk), when we respond to an ambush or an enemy attack, things move a little bit more quickly,'' he said.

Here Come Our "Fighting Van Doos"

Quebec soldiers headed for Afghanistan in the coming weeks turned to hamburgers and hotdogs Thursday to try to counter mounting opposition in the province to their deployment.Close to 1,200 soldiers, many of them from Quebec City’s Royal 22nd Regiment, gathered in a downtown park for a tailgate party ahead of a Montreal Alouettes pre-season football game.

Sporting their desert fatigues, the troops then marched into nearby Molson Stadium to sing the national anthem.The activities marked the latest in a series of public events aimed at drumming up support for the troops’ mission in the hostile reaches of southern Afghanistan, where three Canadian soldiers were killed earlier this week."This is a voluntary deployment," said Chaplain Charles Deogratias, who will be among those deployed. "The soldiers who are going now have the privilege to change somebody’s life."

Protesters mailed 3,000 letters to soldiers and their families this month urging them to refuse to go to Afghanistan, while an antiwar coalition plans to demonstrate during a military parade on Friday in Quebec City.
(O.K....I ask.. where did the protesters get this information?? - names, addresses..)

Capt. Louis Charland pointed out that part of their job is securing that same right to disagree in Afghanistan."We live in a democracy here and one of the things we’re doing over there is trying to allow people over there to do the same thing, express their opinions," he said. Let them protest, says the military. "This is a democracy," said Capt. Mathieu Dufour, spokesman for the base. "Soldiers have laid down their lives on the front lines for democracy."

Others claimed the increasingly vocal opposition would do little to change their mindset."I’m ready to go, we’re ready to go, and I don’t think it will change our way of thinking," said Warrant Officer Nicolas Cote.

Deogratias says the overriding feeling among the troops is more one of excitement and anticipation than of concern over public opinion."We’ve been preparing now for over a year," he said. "It couldn’t be a better time because everyone is ready."Charland, however, admits that nerves have been an issue."I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t worry about the risks that are part of this," Charland, 25, said. "But you have to be brave and go in there and see what happens."

Small numbers of the Royal 22nd Regiment, the province’s legendary "Fighting Van Doos," quietly deployed to Kandahar last December. This time, there is nothing quiet about the deployment of 2,000-plus Van Doos throughout July and August.

Our best to our "Fighting Van Dos!" Godspeed.

What Are The Taliban Doing to the Innocent Children?

Nato accuses Taliban of using children in suicide missions
· Troops say bomb defused on six-year-old boy· Claim follows 13 civilian deaths in air strike

Saturday June 23, 2007
Young Afghan boy shown here at Taliban training camp
- used to entice other young children to join.

Children as young as six are being used by the Taliban in increasingly desperate suicide missions, coalition forces in Afghanistan claimed yesterday.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to which Britain contributes 5,000 troops in southern Afghanistan, revealed that soldiers defused an explosive vest which had been placed on a six-year-old who had been told to attack Afghan army forces in the east of the country.
The boy was spotted after appearing confused at a checkpoint. The vest was defused and no one was hurt.

The claim came only hours after the second report this week that civilians had been killed in Nato military operations. Nine women, three babies and the mullah of a local mosque died alongside 20 suspected Taliban militants after an air strike, Helmand's police chief, Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, said.
The air strike had been launched in response to an attack on Nato troops by militants near the town of Gereshk. An estimated 120 people have been killed in recent weeks, including seven schoolboys who died in a US air strike on Sunday.
Yesterday ISAF said it was investigating reports from the Afghan authorities that civilians had been killed. But it also accused the Taliban of using civilians as battleground cover, and said the incident with the boy signalled a new type of tactic. The boy had been ordered to target a check point in Miri, in the Andar district of Ghazni province.
"They placed explosives on a six-year-old boy and told him to walk up to the Afghan police or army and push the button," said Captain Michael Cormier, the company commander who intercepted the child, in a statement. "Fortunately, the boy did not understand and asked patrolling officers why he had this vest on."
Lieutenant Colonel David Accetta, ISAF eastern regional command spokesman, told the Guardian: "In the past we have not seen the Taliban sink that low, to use children as suicide bombers. The personnel secured the vest to make sure the child was safe."
Lt Col Accetta said the procedure for dealing with an armed minor had so far been untested in Afghanistan.
"It would have been difficult to know what to do considering it was a six-year-old boy and he was presumably going to push the button himself or someone was going to detonate it for him remotely," Lt Col Accetta said.
The rules of military engagement are easily muddied when a child poses a direct threat, he explained. "What we do if we identify the fact that an adult is wearing a suicide vest is we use whatever force we deem necessary to protect the lives of our soldiers and any civilians. Of course it makes it more difficult - it's a six year-old child."
The date of the incident, the boy's name and information on what happened to him afterwards were not immediately available, Lt Col Accetta said. The Guardian has been unable to independently corroborate the claim.
ISAF has accused the Taliban of intentionally living and fighting in residential areas, capitalising on the international forces' reticence to put ordinary Afghans at risk.
"They will normally intermix with the civilian population with the thought that we won't engage them there, and it's true, we won't do that," Lt Col Accetta maintained. "They are deliberately putting civilians - women and children - at risk by bringing the combat into close proximity with them."
Coalition forces have struggled in recent days to pacify a swell of anger following repeated incidents where innocent civilians have apparently been killed in military operations.
Responding to reports that women and children had been killed in the latest airstrike, a spokesman, Lt Col Charlie Mayo, said: "If civilians had been identified in the area the air strike would not have gone ahead."
He added: "ISAF has demonstrated this restraint on a number of occasions and goes to great lengths to minimise civilian casualties."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

We Shall Remember Them


Our Angels

A nation mourns Cpl. Stephen Frederick Bouzane, who died serving his country in Afghanistan on Wednesday, June 20, 2007.Bouzane was among three soldiers killed Wednesday when the small, all-terrain vehicle they were riding in hit a roadside bomb. A native of Newfoundland who grew up and continued to reside in Scarborough, Ontario, Bouzane was a member of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.Remembered by family as a quiet and reserved young man, Bouzane was on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan where he hoped to make a difference.He joined the army in 2003, fulfilling a lifelong dream.


A nation mourns Pte. Joel Vincent Wiebe, who was killed serving his country in Afghanistan on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 when a vehicle he was riding in struck a roadside bomb.The 22-year-old Edmonton native leaves behind his fiancé, Anna Thede, whom he planned to marry upon returning from his first tour of duty in February 2008.Wiebe, a member of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, will be remembered by friends and family as a quiet man, who was always eager to help.

To view or sign the guestbook for Private Wiebe


A nation mourns, Sgt. Christos Karigiannis, who died serving his country in Afghanistan on Wednesday, June 20, 2007.Karigiannis and two other members of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry were killed when a vehicle they were riding in struck a roadside bomb. An expert skydiver, he was a former member of the Skyhawks, a group of soldiers specializing in complex sky diving formations.

To View or Sign a guestbook for Sgt. Karigiannis

Around 80 Taliban killed in Afghanistan Near Pakistan Border

June 23, 2007
Foreign forces in Afghanistan said Saturday they had killed around 80 insurgents in the past 24 hours, most of them in a strike on rebels preparing an attack near the Pakistan border.
A group of 45 men and several smaller ones of eight to 10 were spotted just inside the border later Friday preparing to attack a base in the Paktika province, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.
“They were clearly armed and they were clearly hostile and that is why they were engaged,” ISAF spokesman Major John Thomas said.
ISAF forces conducted reconnaissance to confirm their suspicions and the insurgents fired on a US-led coalition aircraft, Thomas said.
Coalition forces then unleashed combined air and artillery strikes as the insurgents tried to escape across the border, he said. The operation was coordinated with Pakistan because the area is close to the border.
An ISAF spokesman for the east of the country, Major Donald Korpi, said “up to 60 Taleban were killed.”
Thomas did not have a figure for the dead but did not dispute this toll, saying such numbers were arrived at through various battle damage assessments.
Commanders in the area said it was the largest formation of militants there since January, Thomas added.
On January 11 air and ground strikes on insurgents spotted infiltrating into Afghanistan from Pakistan killed up to 150 of them, ISAF said at the time.
The Taleban’s leadership is believed to have fled into Pakistan when the coalition drove them from power in 2001.
The extremist movement and its Al Qaeda allies are said to have training grounds just across the porous border.
The coalition reported separately that its soldiers working with Afghan troops had killed nearly 20 “enemy fighters” in a seven-hour battle late Friday in the southern province of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taleban movement.
The attackers had initiated the battle by opening fire with machine guns, it said in a statement.
Several more fighters were killed in the adjoining province of Uruzgan when a battle erupted after troops were shot at with multiple rockets.
The coalition also announced it had detained 20 militants early Saturday in an operation against Al Qaeda militants in Ghazni province.
At one compound fighters had fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns at the soldiers, who returned fire and killed the assailants, a statement said.
The Taleban’s insurgency has steadily intensified since it was launched, despite the efforts of thousands of foreign troops helping the Afghan security forces.
The interior ministry announced that Afghan and foreign security forces had killed more than 1,500 insurgents in about 80 operations across Afghanistan since March.
About 530 more, including 23 would-be suicide bombers, were captured, it said in a statement.
But insurgent attacks have also increased, with regular suicide and roadside bombings claimed by the militants that have killed scores of civilians.
In a new incident, a district governor said six Afghan civilians driving trucks supplying goods to foreign military bases were killed Friday by Taleban in the southern province of Helmand.
Insurgency-linked violence killed more than 4,400 Afghans last year, the bulk of them rebels but including about 1,000 civilians, according to Human Rights Watch.

Highway of Tears

As Written June23rd by my fav. Joe Warmington in the Toronto Sun.
Once again, I thank you Joe W. ~ m.m.

Cpl. Jody Mitic, who lost his legs fighting in Afghanistan,
hands out magnetic yelow ribbons to Torontonians
in the lobby of the Toronto Sun yesterday.

Yesterday they came to the Toronto Sun to support the troops.
Tomorrow they will be out on the highway to salute them.
If you couldn't get here, you will have a chance to pay your respects when the Canadian Armed Forces Airbus comes home tomorrow evening with three more Canadian soldiers killed in battle.
So many people have asked me about this. So many people want the families of soldiers who die over there to know people care.
This tells me Toronto is behind our troops. You don't need any City Hall motion to show that. But it just happens in Toronto we do have one.
Our city council voted unanimously to have Support Our Troops ribbons on every emergency vehicle.
And many coppers, firefighters, paramedics, veterans, wounded soldiers, military spouses, sons and daughters and mothers and fathers appreciate that.
And so does a veteran named Don Ashfield, who was the Sun reader who pointed out to me in the first place that the city was going to have the Support Our Troops decals removed from emergency vehicles.
Neither of us realized just how upset you would be about that. You shamed those who tried to sneak this through into getting on your side.
It doesn't matter sometimes how something happens as long as it does.
"I am glad they do it now because if we don't they may not ever get properly recognized," said George Pasher, a veteran of the Korean War who knows all about that.
"It took the Canadian government 40 years to recognize us and finally give us a medal," he said. "The problem was half the guys were already dead."
We are not going to let any politician treat these fine men and women like that.
We need as a country to get behind them no matter what.
This was the approach the several hundred who came down here yesterday felt.
We handed out yellow ribbons of support but we didn't really have to because many of the people had support decals already.
They were already proud of our troops. They just wanted to be here for the moment of silence and for the singing of O Canada. It was patriotism that was on display. And you see some more of that tomorrow, sometime after 5:30 p.m. when the latest three dead soldiers are returned home from Afghanistan.
These will be the 58th, 59th and 60th to do so. It is so sad.
There is nothing routine about it. But there has in essence become a bit of a routine for those who live along the route to Toronto. It has happened so often, thousands of ordinary Canadians fill the overpasses and pull off the road to make way for the hearses making their way to the Centre of Forensic Sciences along Hwy. 401 from CFB Trenton.
It's Ontario's own Trail of Tears.
"It's very emotional to be part of it," says Intelligarde president Ross MacLeod, who travels down to his summer home every weekend and has taken part in the impromptu memorial sessions.
"One bridge has now become several bridges from Courtice Rd., east to Port Hope and 50 people have become hundreds of people including families with children all saluting the troops," he said. "It's an unusual sight for which I know no precedent, except the funeral cortege for Princess Diana."
The plane is scheduled to come in at 5:30 and after they are repatriated on the tarmac they will then head to Toronto. You can salute them by going down to Trenton and standing outside the gate or getting on any one of the bridges and overpasses on their way to Toronto.
Many people pull off the road as the procession moves. This weekend's unofficial ceremony is expected to be the biggest ever. Those on council who didn't understand they sentiment of the country will get it now. There is no advertising campaign, no government decision necessary. It's just Canadians who feel strongly they want to say thank you. Thanks for what you did.
Bring your Kleenex if you decide to partake in this.
"You can't help but have tears," said Jeri Horton-Joyce, the daughter of Tim Horton, who with her husband Ron Joyce Jr. have a Tim Hortons franchise in Cobourg and often go out to pay their respects.
It's something new for Canada, losing this many people. We have had decades without this kind of pain.
But our freedom we enjoy came from soldiers in the past who ensured it for us. You may not know their names but they are part of your free life.
In a column down the road I am going to make an argument to rename Hwy. 401 in honour of the men and women from this war on terrorism.
I have a name of what I think it should be called but will talk about that later.
For now I just wanted you to know you can support them if you wish. It costs nothing but some time. So many people have just started doing this all on their own.
It's the power of this sentiment that saw some city fathers change their mind on the ribbons.
"The troops know that people care," said Master Cpl. Jody Mitic, who lost his legs in Afghanistan.
He received a standing ovation when he came down to help hand out these ribbons yesterday, as did Julie Brown who just came back from working at the Tim Hortons in Kandahar (you can read my column on her experiences Monday and check out a video about it now up on
Also on hand representing the Toronto Police Association were its president Dave Wilson and media spokesman Louise Gray, and from CFB Downsview Capt. Wayne Johnston, Sgt. Chris Thomson and Laura Keller and Fliss Chippendale of the Toronto Military Family Resource Centre and Councillor Mark Grimes from the city.
The message Toronto sent today is very simple. We are behind our troops.
And we salute them.

Letter From the Afghan Front

(A letter from Cpt Brown to his friends and family had been written in January 07. This reiterates our reasons for being overseas - thank you Cpt Brown and all our soldiers for all you have done and do for us. .. and to the families - for the support you have given them and each other while they served and serve overseas.)

I apologize for the generic letter, but these days I don’t have a lot of time to [say] thanks to all the people who have offered me overwhelming support. Your support is not only appreciated but quite honestly sustains me through some of the worst days of my life. Bar none, this is an experience that I will never forget, and has changed me in so many ways.
I have been ambushed, attacked, bombed, mortared, mined and RPG’d to the point that I honestly cannot wait to get home. Half of our company has been wounded and, of 120 men, the enemy has killed six. Of the wounded, some have endured the loss of limbs, paralysis, and
one is learning to read and write again. The enemy is real – and a brutal enemy he is. Never have I believed more in a cause, and each and every day I believe in it more. Our enemy uses children to fight its battles and as shields, it coerces, threatens, blackmails, steals, sells opium and represses women. It murders elderly men simply because they associate with us,
and it corrupts a religion by holding it hostage. It is uneducated and illiterate, but certainly not stupid. It places its mines strategically and wages a war of terror so that the locals live in fear.

Most of the Taliban are foreign, and use the local population for their purpose but do not
care for their well-being. They force thelocals on missions with absolutely no chance of success and accuse them of being bad Muslims when they question it. They have no hesitation in causing massive civilian casualties if it results in even one coalition dead. As much as it is a sin to kill
your fellow man, it would be a bigger sin to let the Taliban have freedom of action in a country that does not want its return.

Contrary to what the media believes, Afghans do support the coalition, and we must support them. There is no shortage of people willing to die for [the Taliban] cause, but I am thankful that those people choose to fight us here, rather than [in Canada].
As for the development of this country, Canada and reporters in general have it wrong. The West will not rebuild this country; Afghans will – and are doing it each day. The West can facilitate the process, but it is becoming clearer that in [dangerous areas] international agencies
are reticent to help. My message to them is to get off their soapbox and take some risk.

Regardless of the situation, progress and development are continuing – particularly in parts of the country where there is no fighting. The media is focused on our area of operations, and
they forget about progress occurring around the country. The Taliban has massed around us
and we are willing to take on that burden. I want you very much to believe in what Canada is doing here in Kandahar.

Canada, at an international level, has stepped up and is taking a leadership role in NATO. We are doing what is right, not what is easy. It is important that we carry the load at least until the end of our mandate, at which time we can let someone else take the lead. You have made this
possible, and we should all be very proud to be Canadian right now.

Currently, we are committed to seeing the construction of a road, a simple road, but a road that has cost us seven soldiers including two from my Company, Sgt Darcy Tedford and Pte Blake Williamson. I am so proud to be with soldiers like these and am happy to report that they have
represented us all so well. The rest of us will stand here with our Afghan brothers, and this road will get finished.
I have been raised as most other Canadians, with a sense of duty and fair play that is directly related to the relationships I have with my family, my community and my country.

Thanks for everything.

Captain Steve G. Brown,
Pro Patria
1 RCR (Charles Company)

Friday, June 22, 2007

They are Coming Home

Joint Task Force Afghanistan and other soldiers from the ISAF community pay tribute to fallen soldiers during a ramp ceremony held at the Kandahar Air Field. Soldiers slowly carry their fallen comrades, Sergeant Christos Karigiannis, Corporal Stephen Frederick Bouzane, and Private Joel Vincent Wiebe, to the waiting C130 Hercules transport for the journey back to Canada All three soldiers were members of Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI) from CFB Edmonton and at approximately 7:49 am Kandahar time 20 June 2007 the three Canadian soldiers were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in struck an improvised explosive device on the main road, approximately 6 km west of Forward Operating Base Sperwan-Gar. The incident occurred while the soldiers were conducting resupply operations between checkpoints. 3 PPCLI members is part of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR) Battle Group of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-Afg).
Bless their families and friends ~ here and in Afghanistan.
Dignity and Tragedy Define Ramp Ceremony
Private Joel Wiebe got a dignified and glorified send-off under a dazzling crescent moon yesterday evening, but a military ramp ceremony was hardly the sort of celebration he deserved on what would have been his 23rd birthday.

He was accompanied at the back of a Hercules departing for Trenton, Ont., by the bodies of quiet Newfoundlander Corporal Stephen Bouzane and fun-loving Sergeant Chris Karigiannis.

The ramp ceremony for those killed by a bomb explosion on an off-road trail on Wednesday has become a dreaded but essential part of the military culture, having ushered 60 bodies aboard Canada-bound Hercules for the trip home in tragically unexpected style.

Yet even the send-off after three deaths this week, with more than 1,200 soldiers bearing silent witness to their sacrifice, probably won't rate the sort of national news attention of a few years ago. The novelty has clearly worn off in Canada, amid the rising volume of ceremonies.

But behind the scenes of grief that spill out across the airport tarmac is a precise military operation that occurs within minutes of casualties being inflicted.

When the phone rang in Sgt. Maj. Jim Young's office on Wednesday morning to alert him to three VSAs -- rather cold military jargon for "vital signs absent" -- it set in motion a strict protocol, complete with checklists, tape measures, scripts and maps for correct military positions.

The U.S. mortuary was alerted to the spectre of incoming bodies, identification teams were called to confirm the names of the deceased, a pastor was summoned and troops from the victims' unit were recalled to base.

"This is not a funeral service. Our priority is to get the individuals out of Kandahar with as much dignity and respect as possible," Sgt. Maj. Young said in an interview.

And that is exactly what he delivered yesterday in flawless stopwatch precision.

Hours earlier, it had been a different story, and there were hints of trouble in the air. Inbound troops from the victims' company called to say they were running late, threatening to run out of time for a shower, haircut and the rehearsal.

Then Sgt. Maj. Young's truck battery died as he was rushing to chalk the tarmac outline for the military lineup. Finally, a British Hercules was intruding on ramp ceremony space and running late for its departure. It was finally ordered to move and load in another location.

Meanwhile, at his office, Padre Malcolm Berry was polishing the address he would deliver, keeping in mind the religious wishes of the victims. He was having a different sort of day after learning he'd driven the wrong vehicle to work, his key somehow starting someone else's car. For a while there, he stood jokingly accused of being a car thief.

Capt. Randy Adams had rushed back from reconstruction duties in Kandahar City to serve as ceremonial bagpiper for the 17th time in two years, after brass discovered the other regulars were on leave.

You wonder how he can still want to play an instrument linked mostly to a pre-funeral ritual. "We're always called upon to do things we don't enjoy. I look at this as the one way I can help out in the process."

Two hours before the event, there was a military visitation for friends and comrades. If the ramp ceremony is a public display of goosebumps and wet eyes, the visitation is all grief and tears in private.

The compound outside the mortuary was draped in white, the better to mask the surrounding piles of containers and trailers.

Soldiers huddled in small groups or slumped beside armoured vehicles after paying their respects at the three aluminum "transfer cases" draped with the flag, each with the soldier's picture on top. It was crushing sadness personified.

The real event started on schedule to the sound of armoured carriers bearing the bodies rumbling toward the airport.

The aluminum "transfer cases" were unloaded in absolute silence. Then the pastor preached (nicely and briefly), the piper piped (well), the pallbearers marched while trying to keep their emotions in check and it was over.

Less than half an hour later, the Hercules left the mourning behind and was winging its way from the base.

Yet another farewell salute was over, completed with gut-wrenching emotion and flawless execution.

But perhaps the saddest part of all is that ramp ceremonies have been perfected through far too much practice. It would be delusional but nice to think this finely tuned military expertise will no longer be required.

Repatriation at CFB Trenton

Fallen soldiers Cpl Stephen Frederick Bouzane of Newfoundland; Pte. Joel Vincent Wiebe of Alberta and Sgt. Christos Karigiannis of Quebec, all of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry are scheduled to arrive at CFB Trenton Sunday evening, 24 June, at 5:30 p.m. CFB Trenton personnel have announced. They are coming home.
Throughout Northumberland County, emergency services personnel and civilians will be gathering on bridges spanning the highway to honour the fallen military personnel and their families.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Deaths of Three Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan

June 20, 2007 - The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the deaths of three Canadian soldiers:

"I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families of Sergeant Christos Karigiannis, Corporal Stephen Bouzane and Private Joel Wiebe, who were killed today in Afghanistan.These three dedicated Canadian soldiers lost their lives when the vehicle they were traveling in struck an improvised explosive device while conducting a re-supply operation between two checkpoints in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province.This is a tragic loss for Canada and the Canadian Forces - but it was not in vain. Afghans are re-establishing themselves and their communities, and their lives are improving. They see the positive work we are doing in contributing to stability and a lasting peace. Thanks to the bravery of solders like Sergeant Karigiannis, Corporal Bouzane and Private Wiebe, we are making great progress in this region in creating a better future for the Afghan people.Sergeant Karigiannis, Corporal Bouzane and Private Wiebe, all of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, were three great Canadians who will be missed by the Canadian Forces family, their communities and Canadians everywhere - we will always remember them."

Prayers are With Our Three Fallen Canadian Soldiers

It is with a heavy heart that I write this next piece. I reach out to hold the hand of families and friends of 3 courageous fallen soldiers today - as tears fall and my prayers are said for the families and friends -here and overseas. Today, military families grieve together.

Three Canadian soldiers were killed at approximately 7:49 a.m. Kandahar time today (11:19 pm est Tuesday evening) when the open-top all-terrain military vehicle in which they were traveling struck a suspected improvised explosive device on the main road, approximately 40 kms west of Kandahar City. The incident occurred while the soldiers were conducting resupply operations between checkpoints. The Department of National Defence notes: "The loss of every soldier is significant and is felt by all members of Joint Task Force Afghanistan. Notwithstanding that, we remain committed to the mission and the idea of peace and stability for the people of Afghanistan. We will not be deterred by the efforts of those who would deny the Afghan people a brighter future."

The identities of two of the three Canadian soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on June 20, 2007 are as follows:

Corporal Stephen Frederick Bouzane,
3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Corporal Stephen Frederick Bouzane Charlie Company 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) CFB Edmonton, Garrison Friday 16 Oct 2006 Corporal At approximately 7:49 am Kandahar time today, Corporal Bouzane was one of three Canadian soldiers killed when the vehicle they were traveling in struck an improvised explosive device on the main road, approximately 6 km west of Forward Operating Base Sperwan-Gar. The incident occurred while the soldiers were conducting resupply operations between checkpoints. The Charlie Company, 3 PPCLI members are part of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR) Battle Group of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-Afg).
Cpl. Bouzane was born in Newfoundland and grew up in Scarborough, Ont., east of Toronto. Bouzane's sister, Kelly, described her brother as a quiet and reserved young man who was in Afghanistan "to make a difference."
She told the Canadian Press that her brother went to Afghanistan for his first tour in February. She last saw him at Christmas

Private Joel Vincent Wiebe,
3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Private Joel Vincent Wiebe Charlie Company 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3PPCLI) CFB Edmonton , Garrison Oct 16 2006. At approximately 7:49 am Kandahar time today (11:19 pm EST Tuesday evening), Private Wiebe was one of three Canadian soldiers killed when the vehicle they were traveling in struck an improvised explosive device on the main road, approximately 6 km west of Forward Operating Base Sperwan-Gar. The incident occurred while the soldiers were conducting resupply operations between checkpoints. The Charlie Company, 3 PPCLI members are part of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR) Battle Group of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-Afg).
Wiebe, 22, had a fiancee in Edmonton where his regiment is based. Anna Thede had been counting the days until she would next see her fiancé, Private Joel Vincent Wiebe.
After months of separation, the young couple were planning to meet next week in Europe for a holiday. Instead, the Edmonton woman received the devastating news yesterday that Pte. Wiebe, had been one of three Canadian soldiers killed while on patrol in Afghanistan. Ms. Thede told reporters that her family and Pte. Wiebe's planned to release a public statement tomorrow.
On Ms. Thede's personal Facebook page, she wrote she is "heartbroken that her Joel is gone." The couple had been planning a winter wedding.

7:24 pm -The identity of the third Canadian soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on June 20, 2007 is as follows:-

Sergeant Christos Karigiannis,
3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

Sgt. Karigiannis, part of 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, was killed yesterday along with two others while travelling between military checkpoints, just a few hundred metres apart, about 40 kilometres west of Kandahar city. The three soldiers died when their small all-terrain vehicle hit a roadside bomb that insurgents apparently managed to plant without being detected. Kelly Spence, a captain in the air force's supply reserve, said Karigiannis was truly devoted to being a pilot and being in the military.
"He was a quiet guy with a good sense of humour," said Spence, 48, who supervised Karigiannis's pilot's course in Ste. Anne de Bellevue in 1993 and then worked with him periodically through the late 1990s. "He was a good leader, a real motivator and a great human being. "If you asked who would be a good ambassador for Canada over there (in Afghanistan), Chris would be the one." Karigiannis was a top-notch soldier qualified to parachute into dangerous situations, Spence added. "The whole world could be going to hell around him and he would keep his cool."
He had also been a member of the Eden North Skydive Team in Edmonton, where he had completed more than 750 jumps.
"Through their service they contributed to ensuring a safe and prosperous future for Afghanistan," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Maria Carl, ISAF spokeswoman.

The soldiers were travelling in an M-Gator vehicle (similar to pictured above) that is used to haul small loads, a Department of National Defence spokeswoman said in Ottawa. The six-wheeled M-Gators, manufactured by John Deere Ltd., run on diesel fuel.

Asked whether it was a judgment error to use an unarmoured vehicle in hostile territory, Grant replied: "No. This is an unfortunate accident."
"The vehicle was appropriate to the task at hand and the terrain they were travelling in."
But Grant added: "We will review our procedures and if we determine that we need to change them, then we will do so."