Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bless Corporal Byron Greff - October 29, 2011

MCpl. Byron Greff
It is with sadness, we announce that a Canadian Forces member was killed by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device while transiting through Kabul as a passenger on an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) vehicle. The incident took place at approximately 11:30 a.m. (Kandahar time) on October 29, 2011. The incident has resulted in casualties to ISAF personnel. Killed on operation was Master Corporal Byron Greff from the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton, Alberta. He was serving as a mentor and trainer on Operation Attention, the Canadian Forces contribution to the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. His role was to advise Afghan National Army trainers who provide recruit training to Afghan soldiers. The Canadian Contribution to the Training Mission-Afghanistan (CCTM-A) includes more than 900 Canadian Forces men and women who, with some 4500 other partners from 33 other nations in NTM-A, are enabling the growth, professionalization, and capacity building of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police. At this sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our fallen Canadian comrade. Our primary focus at this time is to provide the best possible support to Master Corporal Greff's family and his colleagues.Master Corporal Greff, his teammates, and the contingent of more than 900 Canadians serving with him in and around Kabul are there to provide training, leader development and capacity building. By the end of 2014, this training to the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police will provide security for Afghans who will ultimately take on this responsibility on their own. Master Corporal Greff is a great Canadian soldier who was serving selflessly toward this mission. His teammates, CCTM-A, and the Canadian Forces remain committed to this mission to achieve peace, stability and security by Afghans for Afghans.


The C-17 Globemaster touched down on the tarmac at CFB Trenton around 5 p.m.Cpl. Byron Greff, 26, was killed Saturday in a suicide bomb attack on a NATO bus convoy transporting people to their peacekeeping jobs around Kabul.Moments after the aircraft stopped, military pallbearers carried the flag-draped casket to a waiting hearse.Grieving family members led by Greff’s wife, Lindsay Raphael, and their two children — Kellar and Bielle — slowly made their way to the hearse. Raphael could be seen wiping tears from her eyes as the family placed roses on the casket.Dignitaries at the ceremony included Governor General David Johnston, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Walt Natynczyk looked on.Dozens of people stood in silence outside the perimeter fence on a stretch of Highway 2 known as Repatriation Row.It’s an all too familiar sight at the base.Trenton resident Mike Rightmeyer brought his four young children to watch the ceremony.“We’ve never been to a repatriation before. I thought it was important for them to watch this,” said Rightmetyer. “We came here out of respect. It’s been a gut wrenching, emotional experience for us.”The motorcade that included the hearse and limousines carrying family members drove slowly through the crowd that lined both sides of the road.