Friday, March 07, 2008

Last Letters From Kandahar

In the next while, I will be publishing "Last Letters from Kandahar" A tribute that MacLeans had done this past Remembrance Day. Personally, they have hit me emotionally. These letters—poi­gnant, personal and free of political rhetoric—are a lasting tribute to not only the individual authors, but to all men and women who serve in uniform. Godspeed.
The first is from:
PRIVATE WILLIAM CUSHLEY, 21 Born in Port Lambton, Ont., Cushley was a mem­ber of the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment based in Petawawa, ON. He was among five men killed in Afghanistan on Labour Day weekend of 2006.
The morning he deployed to Afghanistan, his mother, Elaine, drop­ped him off at the bus. She promised not to cry—going so far as to bet her only son $50 that her eyes would stay dry. Moments after Cushley climbed on board, his mom lost the wager. He got off the bus, gave her one last hug, then left for Kandahar. On Sept. 3, 2006, Cushley was killed in a chaotic battle with the Taliban.

Below is a copy of the handwritten note he left for his mother.
If you are reading this, I’m sorry, but I will not be coming back home. Thank you for everything you have ever done for me. I really do appreciate it. You were always there for me even when I didn’t want you to be. I have one last favour to ask you. In this envelope is two more letters, one for Tasha, one for Brandy. If you could please deliver them to them I would really appreciate it. I just want you to know that I love you and that I fought bravely and did everything I could to come home. Do not weep too much, I will always be with you in heart & spirit! Love always & forever, Will P.S.—you can keep the $50! LOL.

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