Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bless Cpl. Steve Martin ~December 18, 2010

It is with heavy hearts that today that we learn that a Canadian soldier has died on Saturday. Our Canadian Forces member was killed yesterday, December 18th, 2010 at approximately 12:30 p.m. local time, after an improvised explosive device detonated while on operations in the Panjwa'i district of Kandahar Province.
Killed in action was Corporal Steve Martin, serving with 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment Battle Group, based at CFB Valcartier, Quebec.
Our thoughts are with the families and friends of our fallen soldier during this difficult time. We will not forget the sacrifice of Cpl Martin.
Cpl. Steve Martin, 24, died while on a foot patrol near a major road construction project that NATO is pushing into the restive Panjwaii district of Kandahar.
Martin was just two days short of his 25th birthday when he died.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the fallen soldier during this difficult time," Brig.-Gen. Dean Milner, commander of Canadian troops in Afghanistan, told reporters at Kandahar Air Field. "We will not forget the sacrifice of this soldier as we continue to bring security and hope to the people of Kandahar province."

Martin was patrolling near a road that NATO forces are carving into the horn of Panjwaii when he was killed by an improvised explosive device, or IED, early Saturday afternoon local time.

The road is a key element of an offensive by Canadian, U.S. and Afghan forces into the horn of Panjwaii, an area that until recently was dominated by the Taliban and used as a staging point for attacks into nearby Kandahar City, the provincial capital.

Although most insurgents fled the area before an initial assault by coalition troops, several cells of Taliban fighters have continued to operate in the region.

They have mounted harassing attacks against the armoured vehicles and construction equipment building the gravel thoroughfare into the region, sprinkling the path ahead of the troops with IEDs.

Gov. Gen. David Johnston offered his deepest sympathies to Martin's loved ones, saying that his death brought home the weight of his new responsibilities as commander-in-chief of Canada's Armed Forces.

"Cpl. Martin displayed an admirable sense of duty to Canada, bringing great pride to his unit and to the Forces as a whole," Johnston wrote.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a written statement extending his deepest sympathies to Martin's family and friends on behalf of all Canadians.

"Cpl. Martin was a brave Canadian who made the ultimate sacrifice while proudly serving his country," the statement said.

"Thanks to Canadian Forces members like him, we continue to make real progress in Afghanistan, rebuilding the country and contributing to the peace and security of its people."

Saturday's attack shattered a period of relative calm in the Panjwaii district, where most of Canada's troops are based.

Although the onset of winter has meant a decline in attacks, the Canadian battle group in Kandahar has still had several of its soldiers wounded.

The Department of National Defence, however, does not release information on wounded soldiers and military spokesmen would not say if anyone else was wounded in the bombing that claimed Martin's life.

The bombing that killed Martin came amid a wave of attacks by Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers across Afghanistan.

Earlier Saturday, a suicide bomber attacked the vehicle of an Afghan district chief in the Canadian area of operations. A car packed with explosives tried to ram a vehicle carrying District Governor Hamdullah Nazik. The bomber missed his target and plowed into bystanders, killing two people, including a child, and wounding 11 others. Nazik was unharmed. more...

Repatriation Ceremonies - Fellow comrades say goodbye to Cpl Steve Martin as he commences his journey home to his family.

Our Fallen Soldier Returns Home
Corporal Steve Martin of the 3rd Battalion Royal 22e Regiment, based at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Valcartier, Quebec, returned home to Canada.

The repatriation ceremony for the latest Canadian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan, Corporal Steve Martin, originally scheduled for Tuesday had been delayed to Wednesday at 2 p.m. at CFB Trenton due to severe winter weather in Europe.

Where: 8 Wing, CFB Trenton, Ontario.
When: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 2 p.m.

Present to pay their respects were His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada; The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence; Mr. Habibullah Qaderi, the Consul General of Afghanistan (Toronto); and other dignitaries.
As this is a solemn and formal occasion, all attending were requested to dress appropriately.


AirmanMom said...

May Almighty God Bless this brave Soldier and may his family find comfort.

Anonymous said...

I need to get a message to the parents of this young man. My thoughts have been with you and your loss is felt by all the families of soldiers, My deepest sympathies to you at this time.