So, anyone who reads this blog knows I make my living writing historical fiction. When I go out to schools, I talk to the kids I meet about bringing history to life, and try to do so through story-telling. The hardest thing to get through to them is that history is being made every moment of their lives — that heroism is all around us.
After the attack on the World Trade Centre, I marched against the war I feared would come, along with thousands of others across Canada. But, agree with the principles or not, Canadian soldiers began giving their lives in Afghanistan shortly afterwards, and men and women of the Canadian forces continue to do so to this day.
I can’t list the names of the tens of thousands of Afghani people who have also lost their lives and loves and homes and families in this struggle, because I don’t know where to begin to look. But today, I searched to find the names of the Canadians lost. Whether you support this conflict or not, I hope you’ll join me in reading through these names, to honour the memories of the families and friends of the Canadians who have poured their life blood into the soil of Afghanistan.
1. Sergeant Marc Legere, 29, from Lancaster, Ontario, in the first known friendly fire incident of the war, April, 2002.
2. Corporal Ainsworth Dyer, 24, from Montreal, died in the same incident at Tarnak farm, near Kandahar, April, 2002.
3. Private Richard Green, 21, Mill Cove, Nova Scotia, died at Tarnak farm, near Kandahar in April, 2002. Eight other soldiers were also wounded in the blast.
4. Private Nathan Smith, 24, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia also died at Tarnak farm, near Kandahar in April, 2002. He was the son of Lloyd and Charlotte Smith.
5. Sgt. Robert Alan Short, 42, of Fredericton, New Brunswick, died because of a land mine near Camp Julien, Kabul, in October of 2003.
6. Cpl. Robbie Beerenfenger, 29, of Ottawa, died in the same explosion, October, 2003. Three other soldiers were injured in the blast.
7. Cpl. Jamie Murphy, 26, of Conception Harbour, Newfoundland, died along with a suicide bomber, the only Canadian casualty of the year in January of 2004.
8. Pvt. Braun Woodfield, 24, of Nova Scotia, died in a LAV rollover accident, in 2005, northeast of Kandahar.
9. Master Corporal Timothy Wilson, of Grande Prairie, Alberta, 30 died as a result of an LAV accident near Kandahar, in March, 2006. He left behind a son and a daughter.
10. Master Corporal Paul Davis, 28, of Bridgewater, NS, died in the same accident in March, 2006. He left two daughters behind. Six others were injured in the accident.
11. Pvt. Robert Costall, 22, of Gibson’s, BC [which I can see from my window as I type this] died as a result of American Special Forces friendly fire near Kandahar in March, 2006.
12. Cpl Matthew Dinning, 23, of Richmond Hill, Ontario, died as a result of a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, one of four soldiers killed in April, 2006.
13. Lieutenant William Turner, 45, of Toronto, died in the same explosion in southern Afghanistan in April, 2006.
14. Bombardier Myles Mansell, 25, of Victoria died the same day in April, 2006. At home in BC, he fought forest fires.
15. Cpl Randy Payne, 32, of Gananoque, Ontario, died in the same April, 2006 incident. He left behind a daughter and a son, and a brother who has built a website page in his memory.
16. Captain Nicola Goddard, 26, of Calgary, was the first Canadian female soldier killed in Afghanistan, and the first woman combatant to die since the Second World War. She died in a firefight in May, 2006.
17. Cpl Anthony Boneca, 21, of Thunder Bay, died July, 2006 in battle in southern Afghanistan. He had just three weeks left in his tour of duty.
18. Cpl. Francisco Gomez, 44, of Edmonton, died as a result of a suicide bomber in July of 2006. He had served in Bosnia, Somalia and Cyprus.
19. Cpl. Jason Warren, 29, of Quebec City died in the same July, 2006 bombing. He had also served in Bosnia. Eight other soldiers were injured in the explosion.
20. Cpl. Christopher Reid, 34, of Truro, NS, was killed by a roadside bomb in August, 2006. Six other soldiers were injured in the explosion.
21. Sgt Vaughn Ingram, 35, of Burgeo, NFLD, was killed the same day in August, 2006, during a rocket-propelled grendade attack west of Kandahar. He left behind two daughters.
22. Cpl. Bryce Kellar, 27 was originally from Regina, and died in the same August, 2006 incident near Kandahar. He was buried by his family in Edmonton.
23. Pte. Kevin Dallaire, 22, died alongside Vaughn and Bryce in the same August, 2006 RPG attack. He was born in Calgary, but grew up in Cold Lake, Alberta.
24. Master Corporal Ray Arndt, 31, of Edson, Alberta, was killed in a convoy accident in August, 2006 that also left Cpl. Jared Gagnon of Sherwood Park in a coma.
25. Master Corporal Jeffrey Walsh, 33, of Regina left behind two daughters and a son. He was killed outside Kandahar in August of 2006 in a weapons-related accident.
26. Cpl. Andrew James Eykelenboom, 23, of Comox, BC, was killed by a suicide bomber in southern Afghanistan, the sixth soldier to die in that deadly August of 2006.
27. Cpl. David Braun, 27, of Raymore Saskatchewan, was the last Canadian soldier to die in August, 2006. He was killed by a suicide bomber while patrolling the streets of Kandahar.
28. Warrent Officer Frank Mellish, 38, of Truro, NS, was killed in Operation Medusa with four other Canadian soldiers. He left behind two sons.
29. Warrent Officer Richard Nolan, 39, of Mount Pearl, Nfld, was also killed in Operation Medusa, September of 2006. He and his partner, also serving in Afghanistan, had 4 children.
30. Pte. William Cushley, 21, of Port Lambton, Ontario was killed in the same event, September, 2006. He had planned a career in the military.
31. Sgt. Shane Stachnik, 30, of Waskatenau, Alberta died in Operation Medusa, in September, 2006. He was planning to be married on his return to Canada.
32. Pte. Mark Graham, 33, of Hamilton Ontario left behind a daughter. He was killed and dozens of other Canadian soldiers injured in a friendly fire incident by a US a-10 Warthog. He’d won many international medals in track and field as a runner.
33. Pte. David Byers, 22, of Espanola, Ontario, was killed with three other soldiers by a bicycle-riding suicide bomber in Panjwaii district, in September, 2006. His fiance was expecting their first child at the time.
34. Cpl Shane Keating, 30, Dalmeny Saskatchewan, was killed in the same suicide-bombing incident in Panjwaii in September, 2006. At home in Regina, he liked to curl.
35. Cpl. Keith Morley, 30, of Winnipeg, was killed in the same September, 2006 suicide bombing. His casket was returned to Winnipeg on what would have been his 31st birthday.
36. Cpl. Glen Arnold, 33, of McKerrow, Ontario, was killed in the same Panjawaii suicide bombing in September, 2006. He left behind three daughters and a son.
37. Pvt. Josh Klukie, 23, of Shunia, near Thunder Bay, was killed while on foot patrol on a Canadian-built road in Panjwaii district by an IED.
38. Sgt. Craig Gillam, 40, of South Branch, Nfld, was killed while working on a road-building project in southern Afghanistan. He left behind a daughter and a son.
39. Cpl. Robert Mitchell, of Owen Sound, was killed on the same road-building project in October, 2006. He was 32 and left behind three sons, aged 5, 3 & 2 at the time.
40. Pvt. Mark Wilson, of London, Ontario, killed by an IED blast while on patrol west of Kandahar in October, 2006. Left behind two sons, and died two months before he turned 40.
41. Sgt. Darcy Tedford, of Truro, was killed in an ambush in southern Kandahar. He left behind his wife and two daughters. He was 32 years old.
42. Pvt. Blake Williamson, was 23 years old when killed in the same ambush in southern Kandahar. He was from Ottawa.
43. Chief Warrent Officer Robert Girouard, 46, of Bouctouche, NB, was killed by a suicide bomber in November of 2006. He had a daughter and two sons.
44. Cpl. Albert Storm, 36, of Fort Erie, Ontario, was killed in the same November suicide bombing. He left behind a daughter and a son, and was the last Canadian to die in Afghanistan in 2006.
45. Cpl Kevin Megeney, 25, of Stellerton, NS, died of a negligent shooting in hi stent on base in Kandahar in March of 2007.
46. Sgt. Don Lucas, 31, of St. John’s NL, left behind a daughter and a son when he was one of six soldiers killed by a roadside bomb near the border of Helmand province in April, 2007.
47. Cpl. Aaron Williams, 23, of Perth-Andover, NB, died in the same roadside bomb attack, on Easter Sunday, April, 2007. He left behind a daughter.
48. Cpl. Brent Poland, 37, of Camlachie, Ont, died with the other five soldiers in support of Operation Achillies that same day in April, 2007.
49. Pvt. David Greenslade, 20, of Saint John, NB also died that day. He’d had to convince his parents to let him join the military, of the reasoning behind his interest in serving.
50. Pvt. Kevin Kennedy, of St. Lawrence, NL, died in the same April, 2007 attack. He had followed his brother into the military.
I’m worried about too many links, so will post the next 50 names in the following post, and the final names in a blog post after that one.
And please — if you knew one of these service men and woman and want to add a comment or have me change or update the listing, please let me know right away.