Saturday, January 31, 2009

God Bless Sapper Sean Greenfield- Sunday, January 31st, 2009

Today we hear the news of a fallen Canadian Soldier and we grieve with his friends and family here as well as his military family and friends who worked closely with him in training and through his tour overseas. May they keep Sapper Greenfield's memory and love alive within their hearts as God holds him close to his.

To the family of Sapper Greenfield: These are diffucult days ahead. Be supportive toward one another. Honour Sean by reflecting on the very precious moments you each shared together. Share those moments with all that come to honour him for he has touched many hearts and lives. Never ever is forgotten the ultimate scarifice, ever not today or all the tomorrow's. . I pray that the Lord holds you in the palm of his hand and give you his peace..

Military Mom at Home

Sapper Sean Greenfield

Canadian soldier, Sapper Sean Greenfield, was killed today when his armoured vehicle struck an improvised explosive device about 40 km west of Kandahar City in Zharey District. The incident occurred at approximately 2:45 p.m., Kandahar time, on January 31, 2009.
Killed in action was Sapper Sean Greenfield from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment based at CFB Petawawa. Sapper Greenfield was a member of 24 Field Engineer Squadron from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment from Petawawa and was serving with the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.

Greenfield was a member of an engineer regiment taking part in an operation to dismantle explosives outside Kandahar City. Those who knew his work say he contributed to the success of the dangerous mission.
"He'll be remembered for being that really outgoing young vibrant part of the community and his regiment," said Col. Dean Milner.

News of his death has sobered the Petawawa community, which recently mourned the death of Trooper Brian Richard Good who was killed three weeks ago.
"It's quiet, people want to talk about it, but they don't want to talk about it. You can see it in the sadness in people's eyes, I don't know how else to say it," said Petawawa resident Donna Fowler.
"Any death is going to be tragic to the family, and to everybody who has known them," added Dan Whitman, who works with the military's casualty administration office.
"With local guys it's even more difficult because they're from here, from the village and the village is very small and it impacts everybody."
Sapper Sean Greenfield had a way of making a lasting good impression on everyone who crossed his path. "He was a great kid, the kind of kid you knew would go on to be a success in whatever he did in life," ~ Gary Serviss, Greenfield's high school teacher
"Sean was someone who always had a smile on his face -- it was infectious. He was fun-loving, good-natured, a bit of a trickster but loved by everyone, really good kid," ~ Debra Rantz, principal of General Panet High School
And that’s being reflected in the outpouring of grief from his friends, family and colleagues in Canada and around the world.

Sapper Greenfield’s death is being mourned by relatives in Manitoba and Ontario, former schoolmates, by military colleagues who trained with him as a combat engineer and even by people in Finland he had befriended while travelling.
Just last Christmas, he was on leave and visiting the Indonesian island of Bali.
A Finnish traveller who met Greenfield at the Bali beach resort of Nusa Dua, wrote on Facebook that she can’t believe this is true as she only just met him and spent Christmas with him.
“He was one of the people I looked up to most when I was younger, since I didn’t have an older brother. It’s cliche to say how good a person someone was after they pass, but Sean’s case is no cliche. He didn’t have a bad bone in his body,” his cousin, Chad, wrote in an e-mail to the Globe and Mail. “He didn’t deserve this.”

Sapper Sean Greenfield attracted people with his guitar and won them over with his smile.
It was something he did as a teen at home and as a soldier in Afghanistan.
But those gifts are gone forever.

Hundreds of his fellow soldiers stood on the tarmac at Kandahar Airfield last night as his casket was carried onto a military aircraft. His body will be returned to CFB Trenton in coming days.
"Sean was first a friend and now a hero," Christine Labrecque told the Star yesterday from Petawawa, Ont. Her husband, Ben, and Greenfield shipped out to Afghanistan the same day last September.
"I remember saying goodbye to both of them and thinking how brave they both are.
"Sean was saving lives in Afghanistan, possibly my husband's and (those of) other close soldiers. He is simply a hero in my eyes and I am so proud of him.
"Sean was so funny, charming, kind, intelligent and very brave. Sean has a very loving family and my heart goes out to them."
Lt.-Col. Roger Barrett, commanding officer of the Battle Group, said Greenfield kept fellow soldiers upbeat. He said people gravitated to Greenfield whenever he played guitar and sang in the makeshift mess halls of Canadian outposts.
"Once he started playing guitar, he would draw a crowd in, and sometimes there would be persons of the opposite sex that would come into that crowd," Barrett said. "So, (he was) a very popular young man and a very personable young man."
Greenfield was part of a mission to target Taliban bomb-making and weapons storage compounds in the western districts of Panjwaii and Zhari, Barrett said. The operation included British and American troops and soldiers from the Afghan National Army.
The Taliban claim to be in the midst of a winter campaign to sow the plains of Kandahar province with makeshift bombs.
Canadian military commanders claim the number of bombs they find outweighs the number of attacks. During the mission, Barrett said soldiers uncovered "numerous caches" of explosives and materials used to make the bombs, which have been the scourge of coalition troops in recent months.
"There is a lot of material that simply won't be buried in roads because we have it now," he said.
"There is a finite supply of materials. Now, in that part of Kandahar, they are going to have to go elsewhere, cobble together all the materials, find a safe place to put them together, reconstitute and start over."
Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-Afg) is the Canadian Forces (CF) contribution to the international effort in Afghanistan. Its operations focus on working with Afghan authorities to improve security, governance and economic development in Afghanistan.
JTF-Afg comprises more than 2,830 CF members. Most of them serve at Kandahar Airfield or Camp Nathan Smith, the home of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar City. CF members also work at various military headquarters and support bases in southwest Asia, and with civilian organizations in Afghanistan.

He is Coming Home- Repatriation
Our fallen soldier, Sapper Sean Greenfield, from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment based at CFB Petawawa, Ontario, returns home to Canada
Where: 8 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario.

When: Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.
What: At the wishes of the family, media will not be permitted on the tarmac.
Present to pay their respects will be Her Excellency The Governor General of Canada, The Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Minister of National Defence, The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Chief of Defence Staff, General Walt Natynczyk and other dignitaries.

Join others along the Highway of Heroes and on the overpasses in honour and respect of our Fallen Soldier Sapper Sean Greenfield as his family accompanies him along our Hero's route. (Hwy 401 West from Trenton to Toronto) Bring and hold a flag if you can - let them know we are here in support of their son's efforts overseas.

Condolences... If you'd like to leave words of condolence, please place them in the comments section below and I'll transfer them to this page. With Kindest Regards, ~m.m.
My husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, and I were overwhelmed when we heard that another Canadian Forces soldier, Sapper Sean Greenfield from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment based at CFB Petawawa, was fatally wounded by an improvised explosive device while conducting a security patrol, 40 km west of Kandahar City.Attacks like these are ongoing and violence continues to rage in Afghanistan. The bravery and determination with which Canadian soldiers conduct their work and face terror on a daily basis is truly astounding. They are convinced of the importance of helping the Afghan people, of standing up to hatred, and of achieving security, which is an absolute necessity for reconstruction and human development in a country so filled with despair.Our hearts and thoughts are with Sapper Sean Greenfield's family, friends and comrades in arms, as they have suffered a heartbreaking loss. We know their sorrow is inconsolable. On behalf of all Canadians, we offer them our sincerest condolences and our utmost respect for everything he so generously accomplished before he paid the ultimate sacrifice.
~Michaelle Jean - Governor General Canada

"I wish to express my heartfelt sympathy on behalf of the Department of National Defence to the family, friends and comrades of Sapper Sean Greenfield, who was killed today when his armoured vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the Zharey District."Spr Greenfield was engaged in an international effort to prevent the Taliban from once again plunging Afghanistan into a state of fear and chaos. This UN-sanctioned, NATO-led mission is a challenging one, but Canada and its allies will not be swayed from this noble cause. Spr Greenfield selflessly gave his life in an effort to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people. We will not forget his sacrifice."
~ Peter McKay - Minister of National Defence

My deepest condolences to Sapper Sean Greenfield's family and friends.
My heart goes out to all those serving in Afghanistan and hope that they feel rewards even in the pain.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Care Package Ideas

Care Packages... Parcels Sent With Love

I have had many people requesting ideas for care packages. Yes.. this list has been truly in the making. My son and his section has assisted in compiling this list. As well, I have added a few things that I've sent along with some ideas from fellow military families.
The main thing, enjoy creating and packing.
One of the first things I do is line the inside of the parcel with a garbage bag. It will protect the box in case of leakage from your parcel or someone else's. (Thanks for the tip P.C. )

o.k... here goes:
  • Toothpaste (Colgate Total Whitening preferred)
  • Foot Powder (Gold Bond Extra Strength)
  • Shampoo
  • Body wash (a masculine scent)
  • Deodorant (NOT ANTIPERSPIRANT!) they need to perspire.
  • Toothbrushes (cheap spin brushes)
  • Toothbrush caps (to stop the toothbrush head from getting dirty)
  • Qtips (for hygiene and cleaning guns)
  • Insoles (A BIG deal. They come in a one size fits all- cuttable size)
  • Stereo Earbuds (these are always in demand and keep getting destroyed)
  • Pens! (Blue, Red - if they can't use them they will donate them to those who can!)
  • Plastic (clear) rulers - short ones
  • Dental flossers
  • Carbiners - they hold gear in place and you can never have enough. Pref. Tan, green, black but they can paint them
  • Under Armour Socks - The new cadillac in socks. Will keep moisture out.
  • Anti fungal foot spray - Important- stops athletes foot and nails from turning yellow. Always spray in their boots before sleep.
  • Baby wipes/ Wet Ones- Anti- bacterial - for all your showering needs
  • Magazines - Auto Trend, Auto mags, Hockey mags, sports mags, or of their special interest
  • PSP games - They are for the Playstation Portable - guys spend hours playing them during downtime
  • Sudoku - everyone's doing it
  • Crosswords
  • Brainteasers
  • flipflops for the shower

    Use a theme for your care packages.

Either follow seasonal themes or get creative with entertaining themes like “cocktail party”, “romance”, “motorcycles”, etc. With this rotation, I have created "Theme Packages" Examples below:

  • "Tea for 8" - Different types of teas (eg. gun powder tea, cream pear, maple cream, chocolate tea), self sealing teabags, a metal teapot, tea buiscuits, honey, sugar cubes, serviettes and teaspoons. "lift those pinky fingers!"

  • "Movies at the FOB" - I created admit tickets for the section, popcorn, popcorn containers, a couple of comedies, Junior Mints and M&M's

  • "A Taste of Maple.. A Taste of Canada" - Maple syrup, maple candies, maple sugar, maple coffee, maple tea, maple cookies.. and a Maple Leaf that I had pressed from home.

  • "Rub a Dub Dub - Time for a Scrub" - toothbrushes, toothpaste, deoderant, foot powder, wet ones, shampoo/body wash (a container that's for both), soaps, insoles, rubber duck

  • Keepin' it Hot.. Keepin' it Warm (for the cold season)- hot chocolate (Tim Hortons), marshmallows, cappacino mix (Tim Hortons), Mitt warmers, pepper jelly, jalepeno spice mix, hot sauce, Maxim Magazines (a HUGE thing for a mom to reach up and buy)

  • Munchies Madness - chips, nuts, homemade trailmix (peanuts, almonds, dried cranberries, raisins, m&m's), Smartfood (popcorn), hard candies, etc.

  • Deck the FOB with boughs of holly (Christmas in a box) - small Christmas tree, solar Christmas lights, unbreakable balls, tinsel, etc

    Other things I've sent:
  • Photo ornament (a big ornament that allows you to download up to 70 pictures for a slideshow) I uploaded pictures of family and friends and some pics that would make anyone smile. There is a keychain available on the market as well.

  • Small Photo album - with each letter I send a couple of pictures of the weather, family, the dog, gas prices, etc. to which he puts into the album

  • A soft, luxurious pillowcase that a friend helped me embroider. I hand embroidered the other one - a heart :) (perhaps a pillowcase from home - they like the smell of home)
  • A self inflating mattress - for back at the base -a little reprieve from the ground.

  • Include light reading suited to their tastes. I've sent a couple of books.
  • Comics or jokes that he can share with others

  • A copy of the local newspaper (he can keep up with the news and prices of things)

  • A calendar

  • solar light with a yellow ribbon tied onto it

  • DVD - I have recorded a bundle of favourite tv comedy shows or shows they are missing

  • Beef Jerkey

  • Pepperoni Sticks

  • Kraft Dinner (don't send the ketchup - it explodes)

  • Pringles (don't send the small snack size - the cans pop open)

  • non aerosole shaving gel (shaving cream)

  • pencils and sharpeners

  • waterproof jotbook (book with waterproof pages for writing notes on - available at CANEX)

  • movie clips of friends and family

  • Tim Hortons coupons for soldiers in KAF

  • Candies and decorations colaborating with the holiday. eg. Hallowe'en - treats, rubber spiders, snakes, masks, plastic pumpkins, etc.

  • Liquids should not be sent if it can be avoided, but if they must be sent, be sure to at least double bag them. Zip-lock type bags are great for this and can be re-used at the other end.

  • Old bedsheets (that do not need to come home after the tour) can make sleep a little easier. Pack them with acouple of dryer sheets in between thelayers to give them a fresh scent.

  • Children’s drawings are always well received and can be mailed in parcels or in letters

  • Chapstick (lip balm)

  • Gum (Trident White or Excel White)
  • Cookies

Of course - with most of the items, he will share with the other soldiers and the rest he will leave behind for the incoming troops.

NOTE: If you're a soldier or a family member or friend.. If there's anything you would like to add.. please... let me know.. let US know. We all benefit from ideas.

Doesn't this picture tear your heart out?

Who is the Target?

I almost fell off my chair when I read this article. I shall quote a couple sentences from it. Tell me what you think.

"His death (referring to Trooper Good-God bless his soul) is just the latest in what has been a long, difficult and bloody winter for Canadian soldiers - a consequence in part of what a Taliban spokesman suggested is an unconventional off-season effort to target coalition forces, particularly Canadians.
"We have focused on mines these days because that is very helpful to us. We killed so many Canadians, this is not our good luck - we deliberately want to kill Canadians," said the spokesman, who identified himself as Sangaryar, through an interpreter.
"This winter, we will increase suicide attacks and we will not leave our check points. Canadians will be our hot target."

- Steve Rennie, THE CANADIAN PRESS The Canadian Press, 2009 Printed by: The Record January 8, 2009

Do you know what I think? Let's send Canadian soldiers' mothers over there... we have a lot of pent up stress and some debts to settle with them. Be afraid... be very afraid.

God Bless Trooper Brian Richard Good - January 7th, 2009-8:00 a.m.

Bless our fallen soldier, Trooper Brian Richard Good as he is taken into God's arms. My prayers go out to his family and friends and his friends and comrades who worked and trained alongside him both here and in Afghanistan. He will always be remembered. Thank you Trooper Good. My prayers are also with our injured soldiers for comfort and recovery.

One Canadian soldier was killed and three others were injured when their armoured vehicle struck an improvised explosive device approximately 35 kilometres north of Kandahar City in the Shah Wali Kowt District. The incident occurred at approximately 8:00 a.m., Kandahar time, on January 7, 2009.The fallen soldier is Trooper Brian Richard Good, from The Royal Canadian Dragoons based at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa. Trooper Good was serving with the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.The injured soldiers were evacuated by helicopter to the Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield. All three soldiers are reported to be in good condition. Their names will not be released.
The thoughts and prayers of every member of Joint Task Force Afghanistan are with Trooper Good's family and friends during this very difficult time.

Trooper Brian Richard Good was killed when his armoured vehicle struck an improvised explosive device approximately 35 kilometers north of Kandahar City in the Shah Wali Kowt on January 7, 2009.
Trooper Brian Richard Good, from The Royal Canadian Dragoons based at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa. Trooper Good was serving with the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.
Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-Afg) is the Canadian Forces (CF) contribution to the international effort in Afghanistan. Its operations focus on working with Afghan authorities to improve security, governance and economic development in Afghanistan.
JTF-Afg comprises more than 2,750 CF members. Most of them serve at Kandahar Airfield or Camp Nathan Smith, the home of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar City. CF members also work at various military headquarters and support bases in southwest Asia, and with civilian organizations in Afghanistan.
Le Soldat Brian Richard Good a été tué lorsque son véhicule blindé a touché un engin explosif improvisé à environ 35 kilomètres de Kandahar City, dans le district de Shah Wali Kowt le 7 janvier 2009.
Le Soldat Brian Richard Good, appartenait à l’unité The Royal Canadian Dragoons basée à la Base des Forces canadiennes Petawawa. Le Soldat Good servait à titre de membre du groupement tactique du 3e Bataillon, The Royal Canadian Regiment.
La Force opérationnelle interarmées en Afghanistan (JTF-Afg) est la contribution des Forces canadiennes (FC) à l’effort international en Afghanistan. Ses opérations portent sur le travail avec les autorités afghanes pour améliorer la sécurité, la gouvernance et le développement économique en Afghanistan.

The commanding officer of the Ottawa soldier who died in Afghanistan Wednesday says Trooper Brian Richard Good died doing what he wanted to do and that he strongly believed in improving the lives of people living in Afghanistan through the efforts of the Canadian Forces fighting there.
His colleagues say it made no difference that Trooper Good joined the military late in life and at 42, was serving alongside men and women more than half his age.
One day after he was killed in a roadside bomb attack, Good's fellow soldiers remembered a man who could be trusted to never break his word; a man who was devoted to his job as a driver of a light-armoured vehicle, to his unit and to his family, including his wife, Sandra, and daughters Kayla and Jessica.

Ramp Ceremony "These are qualities that transform just another soldier into a buddy who's got your back," said Padre Dave Donevan during Thursday's ramp ceremony. Canadian soldiers said goodbye to Trooper Good, Thursday at a sombre ramp ceremony in Afghanistan. About 2,400 troops representing various NATO countries came out to pay their respects as Good's flag-draped coffin was slowly carried into the back of a waiting transport plane in preparation for the flight back to Canada.
Also in attendance at Kandahar Airfield were the three soldiers injured in the same blast that killed Good. Two men were able to stand during the ceremony, while one soldier remained seated in a wheelchair.
At CFB Petawawa, Ont., Col. Dean Milner, commander of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, also said Good was a hero to his fellow soldiers as well as "to this brigade and the rest of the Canadian Forces," he said.
Despite the fact that Milner has commanded thousands of soldiers and trains about 2,500 at a time, he said Good left an impression on him during training exercises.
"I definitely remember him . . . I remember him as one of those soldiers who stood out. Very bright. A soldier that has lots of experience because of the fact that he joined the forces late. He stood out as one of those guys who liked to talk to you. Again, from the troops, a real team player. I can distinctly pick his face out."
He said Good was a great "dad" to the many soldiers in their early 20s serving in Afghanistan.
"He played that experienced, mature, father figure with the troops," said Milner.
At Kandahar Airfield, Maj. Brian Healey, deputy commanding officer of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, said the recent heavy death toll has been "tough" on soldiers.
But, he said, "We're here to do a job. We're here to take care of the Afghan people and I think the soldiers are ever more committed to do that right now."
Funeral details for Good were not made available, but services were expected to be held in Ottawa.

Condolences (If you would like to post a message of condolence, enter it on the comments section and I will transfer it below. Thank you)

"We wish to express first-hand, how proud we are of Brian. Brian was a caring, outgoing and dedicated family man and Brian died doing what he wanted to do and what he truly believed in. Brian will be greatly missed. He will be remembered as our and Canada's hero. At this time we would like to extend out sincere thank you to our Canadian Forces for their tremendous support to our family in this difficult time." ~ Family of Trooper Good

"We have once again received terrible news from Afghanistan, having just learned that Trooper Brian Richard Good was killed and three others were injured when an improvised explosive device detonated in the Shah Wali Kowt District. A member of The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Trooper Brian Richard Good was serving with the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group. The relentless violence with which our troops are confronted in Afghanistan continues on a daily basis.
My husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, joins me in extending our sincerest condolences on behalf of all Canadians to the family, loved ones, friends and comrades in arms who are mourning the loss of this courageous soldier, a generous man who was driven by his desire to help a population in danger and by his sense of duty. Our thoughts also go out to the wounded, to whom we wish a full recovery, and to their families who are also grappling with this tragedy.
I have the utmost respect for all members of the Canadian Forces, who are risking their lives to ensure the success of this very difficult mission in Afghanistan, the purpose of which is to secure and rebuild a country that has been ravaged by so much hardship, misery and inhumanity.
" ~Michaelle Jean

"I would like to offer my most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Trooper Brian Richard Good, who died today in Afghanistan when the armoured vehicle he was travelling in struck an improvised explosive device north of Kandahar City. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time of loss.
I would also like to wish a speedy recovery to the three Canadian soldiers injured in the same incident. Our thoughts are very much with you during this difficult time.
Despite our grief, we will continue to contribute to the United Nations-mandated, NATO-led mission to bring peace and stability to the people of Afghanistan. Whether improving the security situation in order to set the conditions for reconstruction and development, or providing humanitarian assistance, the Canadian Forces are making a considerable difference in a country that has seen decades of war. Rest assured that Trooper Good's sacrifice was not made in vain.
Trooper Good served his country proudly. He will not be forgotten."
~ Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence

My prayers are lifted for Trooper Good and his family who loves him so! ~AirmanMom

Repatriation Ceremony Tentatively Scheduled for Saturday

Our fallen soldier, Trooper Brian Richard Good will be coming home on Saturday per Public Affairs Officer, Lieutenant Annie Morin. The repatriation ceremony will be held on Saturday, January 10th, 2009 at 2:00 pm.
A ramp ceremony was held at the Kandahar Airfield today (Thursday, January 8th, 2009)
It will be another sombre occasion at CFB Trenton this Saturday. Please remember to pay tribute to the family and our soldier on the overpasses of the 401 (Highway of Heroes) between Trenton and Toronto. Let the family know that they are not alone.