Last year, as an act of Rememberance on November 11th, I posted a listing of the 152 Canadian casualties in the Afghan conflict. [You can review the posts here, here and here, if you so choose.] Since that time, five more soldiers have died in combat.
Cpl Steve Martin was killed by an IED on December 18, 2010, two days before he would have turned 25.
Cpl Yannick Scherrer, also 24, was killed March 27, 2011 by an IED while on foot patrol.
Bombardier Karl Manning was 31 when he died in what was referred to as a ‘non-hostile, non-accident incident’, likely a reference to the fact he took his own life.
Master Cpl Francis Roy, a member of the special forces team, was found dead June 25th. His death was described as non-combat related, without further detail.
And less than two weeks ago, Master Cpl Byron Greff was killed in a suicide attack. He was 28 years old.
In 2008, our country set 2011 as a withdrawal date from active duty in the conflict — all active Canadian Forces personnel were to exit by the end of December this year. However, the way things stand now, it looks to me like they plan to end active combat, but intend to remain in the region, continuing to aid in training Afghani forces.
I profoundly disagree with Canada’s involvement in this war, but want to send my support to all the families of these soldiers, the forces themselves, and the civilian support team for their incredible sacrifices in the face of an almost entirely hopeless and thankless situation.
I don’t want to add a single name to this list next year.