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
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.