Tuesday, July 07, 2009

God Bless MCpl Pat Audet July 6-09

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family, friends and comrades of MCpl Audet as they travel this difficult journey ahead. He will always be remembered. We will never forget your ultimate sacrifice. Your duty is done - You are now homeward bound.
MCpl Pat Audet July 6-09
MCpl Pat Audet was killed on 6 July, 2009 in a Canadian CH-146 Griffon helicopter accident. The accident occurred at a Forward Operating Base in Tarnak Va Jaldak, Zabul Province, northeast of Kandahar City. MCpl Pat Audet was from 430e Escadron tactique d'hélicoptères based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier near Quebec City. He was serving as a member of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing at the Kandahar Air Field.
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 about 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.
The Canadian Press reported Wednesday that the crash occurred when the helicopter, blinded by a dust storm, clipped a security wall. The military is currently investigating the exact cause of the crash.
MCpl Audet is survived by his wife, Katherine and family and friends.
Audet is being remembered by his family as a proud military man with an infectious smile.
Master Cpl. Pat Audet's death came as a major blow to his family who say he served his country with honour. In a statement, his family remembered his sense of humour, his love of travel, deep-sea diving and passion for war history. Relatives say he loved being a soldier and believed strongly in what he was doing in Afghanistan
Members of JTF-Afg also work at various military headquarters and support bases in southwest Asia, and with civilian organizations in Afghanistan.

Le cplc Pat Audet a été tué le 6 juillet 2009 dans un accident d’hélicoptère canadien CH-146 Griffon. L’accident s’est produit à la Base d’opérations avancées de Tarnak Va Jaldak, province de Zabul, nord-est de Kandahar City. Le cplc Pat Audet appartenait au 430e Escadron tactique d'hélicoptères basé à la Base des Forces canadiennes de Valcartier, près de Québec. Il servait à titre de membre de l’Escadre aérienne de la Force opérationnelle Interarmées en Afghanistan à l’aérodrome de Kandahar. La Force opérationnelle Interarmées en Afghanistan (FOI-Afg) est la contribution des Forces canadiennes (FC) à l’effort international en Afghanistan. Ses opérations portent sur la coopération avec les autorités afghanes pour améliorer la sécurité, la gouvernance et le développement économique en Afghanistan. La FOI-Afg est composée d’environ 2 830 membres des FC. La plupart servent à l’aérodrome de Kandahar ou au Camp Nathan Smith, foyer de l’Équipe provinciale de reconstruction(ÉPR), situé dans la ville de Kandahar. Les membres de la FOI-Afg travaillent aussi et avec des organisations civiles en Afghanistan dans divers quartiers généraux militaires et bases de soutien dans le sud-ouest asiatique.

Journey Home

Soldiers from Joint Task Force Afghanistan with sadness, carry the body of MCpl Audet to an awaiting CC-130 aircraft for his repatriation back to Canada. The ramp ceremony was held at Kandahar Airfield, Kandahar, Afghanistan. "It's with sadness that we bring them to their last flight," Lt.-Col. Marc Bigaouette, commander of Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan, said before the sombre ceremony. "They can leave Afghanistan with their heads up. They did an incredible service for their country.""We were all deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of Master Cpl. Pat Audet and Cpl. Martin Joannette following a helicopter crash in Afghanistan,"

Repatriation to Canada - families greet their loved ones

The bodies of two Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan earlier this week arrived back home on Thursday afternoon. Master Cpl. Pat Audet, 38, and Cpl. Martin Joannette, 25, arrived at CFB Trenton at 2 p.m. The families of the two soldiers were joined on the tarmac at the base by Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk.
Audet served with the 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron and Joannette with the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment. Both were based in Valcartier, Que.
Some of the people who turned out on bridges over the Highway of Heroes Thursday afternoon brought with them Quebec flags, to honour the returning soldiers.
The soldiers were killed Monday when their Griffon helicopter crashed northeast of Kandahar City. A British soldier was also killed and three other Canadian soldiers were injured.

Photo Credit: Peter Redman
Relatives and friends of Master Corporal Pat Audet pay their respects at the hearse carrying his body during a repatriation ceremony at CFB Trenton Ontario on Thursday July 9. 2009.
Comrades salute and bid farewell to MCpl Audet and Cpl Joannette at CFB Trenton, ON
If you wish to leave condolences for the family and friends of MCpl Audet, please enter them in the comment section and I will transfer them below.
"I would like to convey my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of Master Corporal Pat Audet and Corporal Martin Joannette, who died as the result of a CH-146 Griffon helicopter crash. The accident occurred during take-off near a forward operating base in Tarnak Va Jaldak, Zabul Province, northeast of Kandahar City.I would also like to express my sympathy to the family and friends of the fallen ISAF soldier, killed in the same incident, and wish a quick recovery to the three Canadians injured.This tragedy demonstrates the great risks involved in this challenging mission.These courageous servicemen gave their lives to secure a brighter future for Afghan families and protect the values of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Canada's collaboration and determination to contribute to this UN-sanctioned, NATO-led mission will not waiver.
Canada and the Canadian people will always remember this tragic occurrence and we support all those bereaved in these difficult times."
Peter MacKay,
Minister of National Defence and Minister

I very saddened that, once again in less than one week, two more precious Canadian lives have been lost in Afghanistan, this time in a tragic accident. Master Corporal Pat Audet and Corporal Martin Joannette were on duty in the Zabul province in southern Afghanistan when their helicopter crushed. My heart goes out to the families, friends and colleagues of the two brave Canadians. "At this difficult time, as the loved ones of these two young soldiers, and those of Master Cpl Charles-Philippe Michaud and Corporal Nicholas Bulger who lost their lives only a few days ago, I want the Canadian people to know that we in Afghanistan deeply value these sacrifices. While these soldiers have laid their lives in the service of their country, their service to cause of peace in Afghanistan will not be forgotten."The Afghan people are grateful to the people of Canada for their support and friendship, together with other members of the international community. We depend on this friendship in order to overcome the forces of violence and terrorism within Afghanistan and beyond, and to provide a better, peaceful and prosperous future for our children.
Jawed Ludin,
Ambassador of Afghanistan in Canada

My husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, and I have just learned of the tragic news of the helicopter accident that resulted in the deaths of two of our soldiers and a soldier in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Three Canadian soldiers also sustained injuries.
Master Corporal Pat Audet was member of the 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron and Corporal Martin Joanette was member of the 3rd Batallion, Royal 22e Régiment, both based at Canadian Forces Base in Valcartier. Neither the Afghan people nor our troops have enjoyed any respite from constant attacks and perilous conditions, yet in spite of it all our soldiers continue to give the best of themselves. This terrible accident now only compounds the grief that our great military family has already been feeling for several days.
On behalf of all Canadians, we would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and comrades in arms of Master Corporal Audet and Corporal Joanette. Their unwavering courage and invaluable contribution will never be forgotten. We are also sending our best wishes for a speedy recovery to our wounded soldiers. Our thoughts are with their loved ones in these difficult times. Our sympathies go out as well to the bereaved family of the ISAF soldier, for they are enduring the same sense of loss and grief.
Michaëlle Jean
"We grieve their loss and offer our heartfelt sympathies to their families and friends."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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