Saturday, August 23, 2008

Canadian Troops Bid Their Farewell

Unfortunately, I didn't receive word/invite of the ceremony - which makes me sad- especially being a mother of a deploying soldier. I would have been there. And now, I understand that I'm not the only mother without an invite. Why? I wonder. Did they forget us? O.K.. we won't dwell on this.. it's in the past... however.. I wish Godspeed and safe deployment to all our soldiers of Roto 6 - I send each and everyone of you a hug.
My support is here for the families and friends of our soldiers deploying. There may be times when you will laugh, cry, worry.. You may not be with them, but your soldier will know you are always there in their hearts and keep them in yours.

Petawawa Makes Third Major Deployment

Soldiers Prepare to Head Out

Maj. Jason Guiney kisses his daughter Miranda at a ceremony Friday at CFB Petawawa, near Ottawa, for 2,500 soldiers who will soon leave for Afghanistan.

The soldiers heading into the next phase of Canada's continuing combat mission in Afghanistan were given a formal send-off by family, friends and dignitaries Friday.
Over 2,500 personnel and their families gathered at Dundonald Hall to receive a pep talk from senior officers and Ontario's Lt.-Gov. David Onley, who told them that Canadians of all political stripes support them as they journey to the dangerous Kandahar theatre of operations.
In a week when NATO has lost 16 soldiers, including three Canadian combat engineers in a roadside bombing on Wednesday, Lt.-Gov. Onley said that Canada and her allies cannot stand by and leave the Afghan people in the face of the Taliban, "a vicious enemy who no level of violence is too extreme."
"The people of Afghanistan have been battered by war and tyranny. They've been oppressed and terrorized," Lt.-Gov. Onley told the soldiers, sailors and airmen, all clad is desert fatigues. "Your mission is complex, demanding and very dangerous. But you are the heirs of a great military tradition."
This will be Petawawa's third major deployment to Afghanistan since 2003. Personnel from Joint Task Force Rotation 6 beginning leaving the base next week for what could be a seven to eight month mission. They will be part of four units: 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment (3 RCR) Battle Group, Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team, National Support Element and the Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams, lead mainly by officers and senior non-commissioned officers from 1 RCR. The Canadian task force comes under command of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Noting that the troops have been training hard over the past year for the difficult mission, Col. Dean Milner, commander of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, said every one of them will make a difference no matter what their job over there will be.
"You'll do an outstanding job to help that poor country get back on its feet," said Col. Milner.
Advance teams have already flown out of CFB Trenton heading for southwest Asia. Col. Milner said the main body of troops are scheduled to leave next week. They will be replacing the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, based out of Shilo, Manitoba. The entire contingent should be in Kandahar by late September or early October.
For 3 RCR, this will be the unit's first mission into Afghanistan since they deployed to Kabul in 2003. During that six-month assignment, the battalion provided security and assisted reconstruction efforts throughout the capital city. The bulk of their operations was conducting foot and vehicle patrols, meeting with local officials and overseeing reconstruction projects, including the construction of schools, bridges and water infrastructure.
This time around, the battalion will be engaged in a counter-insurgency with rifle companies and supporting sub-units stationed at Forward Operating Bases or FOBs throughout the Kandahar province, including the volatile Panjwayi and Zhari districts to the west of Kandahar City. For Maj. Rob McBride, commanding November Company, it's been a long time coming but his troops are anxious to get underway.
"It'll be the challenge and experience of a lifetime," said Maj. McBride, who'll be going on his fourth overseas deployment, but his first to Afghanistan.

Other soldiers, like Private Devin Quinlan, a rifleman with Mike Company, understand they are going into a combat situation and know they'll have tough days ahead.
"It's a two-way range," remarked Private Quinlan, 24. "We're going to have to dig down deep, but you just lean on your buddies."
During a vigorous training cycle that focus on specific skill sets needed in Afghanistan, the troops have learned how to conduct convoys, react to an attack from an Improvised Explosive Device or IED, and advanced first aid. They've also become familiar with Afghanistan's complex history and culture. Private Quinlan said he is aware of the strategic importance of their mission.
"You want to help these people out, but especially the kids," he added. "They are born into a country that is unstable and they should live without violence. That's what drives me.
For the families of deployed soldiers, it will mean an even longer wait. Kim Ballah, who is also a military medic, acknowledged there will be a period of adjustment once her husband, Paul, departs. However, she said her 11-month-old son, Henri, will keep her busy enough.
"There's always concerns and you're worried," said Ms. Ballah, who also has a sister deploying to Kandahar. "But day-to-day life will be hectic as it is." - Chatham Daily News


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you were not able to be at the ceremony? Who sends the invitations and to whom if not to a mother of a deploying soldier?

Anonymous said...

I too was overlooked as I did not receive an invitation to the ceremonies and I also have a son deploying.

Dave King said...

We didnt hear of this at all either (son in 3 RCR), oh well, i will see all of you when they all come home!!!
Dave & Linda King