Sunday, June 03, 2007

Fallen Soldier Master Cpl Darrell Priede to Arrive at CFB Trenton Monday

The body of a fallen Canadian military photographer returns home to Canada on Monday from Afghanistan. A Hercules transport plane bearing the casket of Master Cpl. Darrell Jason Priede is due to arrive at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in eastern Ontario at 6 p.m.

Priede, 30, who was based at Gagetown, N.B., died last Wednesday when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter he was riding in was apparently shot down while he was documenting a U.S. airstrike against the Taliban in the volatile Helmand province. Also killed were six others aboard — five American soldiers and Cpl. Mike Gilyeat, a British military photographer working with Priede. Priede and Gilyeat had been in Afghanistan for less than six weeks and it was the second time Priede was out photographing a combat mission.

Priede was the second Canadian soldier to die in the war-torn country less than a week. Master Cpl. Matthew McCully was killed five days earlier when he stepped on an explosive device.

Some dignitaries will be on hand for the sombre arrival ceremony. ‘‘We expect that the Minister of National Defence will likely be there as well as Gen. (Rick) Hillier, our chief of defence staff. Master Cpl. Priede will also have his family on hand as well to greet him upon his return to our country,’’ said Capt. Nicole Meszaros, a spokeswoman for CFB Trenton. Meszaros said the family is allowing the media to cover the arrival ceremony. ‘‘The family has consented to have the media on the tarmac,’’ said Meszaros. The military cameraman was born in Burlington, Ont., and grew up around Grand Forks, British Columbia.

He was married and lived with his wife, Angela, near CFB Gagetown. He joined the military as a gunner in 1996, and later served as a peacekeeper in Bosnia. From her home in Grand Forks, B.C., Roxanne Priede said her son volunteered to go to Afghanistan and was eager to capture images of Canada’s mission there. She said her son really wanted to do something that would show more of what the military stood for. Priede was working as photographer for the Regional Command South, which oversees multinational efforts in each of the five southern Afghan provinces. He was killed during Operation Lastay Kulang, part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force offensive against the Taliban in Helmand province.


...a little of this and that....... said...

My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

Military Mom said...

I could not imagine what they are going through. Let's all keep them in our hearts and in our prayers as they travel such a dificult journey ahead.