There was a going away party last week, which I did not attend, for a friend of a friend whos unit is headed off to Afghanistan. There is one coming up, which I will attend, for my extremely loveable friends Nick and Andrew. Nick is Russian, was on the wrestling team with me and loves wrestling. Andrew is tall, gawky, with ginger hair and an awkward demeanor. He was responsible for some of the best times I had in Drama. I write this because here in Canada, we recently reached 131 soldiers killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
The latest was Jonathan Coutourier from the VanDoos. That’s all I can tell you about him. He was un Québécois. From the thumbnail, I can tell you he had blue eyes, brown hair, and an innocent and surprised look on his face. I can’t tell you if he joked around in the back of the van. I can’t tell you if he always holds the door open for people and buys the entire sports team coffee. I can’t tell you if his hair stands up straight on end, that his nickname was Saskwatch, or that he liked to spend his entire drama class lying under the table.
One hundred and thirty-one
That’s the most of any NATO country (in Afghanistan), mostly because until recently, the American and British troops were highly concentrated in Iraq, with only a few deployed to Afghanistan, and other countries are deployed mostly in the much safer north, around the capital city of Kabul. We claim we’re going to change our mission next year, form combat to ‘peacekeeping’, whatever that means. How you can keep peace when there is no peace to keep is a question worth asking. Even doing nice things like building roads and wells, providing education and medical care isn’t a safe business in a country riddled with landmines and in the midst of a guerilla war. People will still die. Or perhaps we will be so afraid of the loss of life in the service of the mission that we will simply become accountants, witnesses of the horrors wreaked on innocents. I’m not a diplomat, nor am I a soldier. But I would like to tell you about a flag that stands on the wall of my history classroom. It is the only flag you will see that has poppies on it. Why? Because my teacher, a former military man, puts a poppy on the flag for every life lost in the service of the Afghan mission. He takes them off every Remembrance Day, and starts again. There are over thirty poppies on that flag now, and with the recent spike in violence it is hard not to see that number growing. And yet, as a country, we have become hardened to the loss of so many young lives. For other countries, who have lost 10 soldiers, or 20, the shock is still fresh, the national outpouring of grief still raw. Here, it has gotten so that the death of a soldier is no longer always front-page news, and the maiming almost never is. Soldiers fight and soldiers die. It’s what they do, what they have always done, and, until mankind figures out a better way to deal with it’s conflicts then throwing the blood of the young at it, it’s how it always will be. They fight for different reasons- for some, like Nick, it is because they are truly, intensely patriotic- some because it seemed like the natural route. Very few fight and die for King and Country, or to please a far off politician. We’ll never know what Pte. Coutourier fought for- what he believed or cared enough about to lay down his life. We can make a guess, and say it probably wasn’t the politician who lives to 100, or the general who dies in bed.
Rest in peace. Rester en paix.
First name Last name Rank Province Date of Death
Jonathan Couturier Private Quebec September 17, 2009
Patrick Lormand Private Quebec September 13, 2009
Jean-François Drouin Corporal Quebec September 6, 2009
Yannick Pépin Major Quebec September 6, 2009
Mathieu Allard Sapper Quebec August 1, 2009
Christian Bobbitt Corporal Quebec August 1, 2009
Sébastien Courcy Private Quebec July 16, 2009
Patrice Audet Master corportalQuebec July 6, 2009
Martin Joannette Corporal Quebec July 6, 2009
Nick Bulger Corporal Alberta July 3, 2009
Charles-Philippe Michaud New Brunswick June 23, 2009
Martin Dubé Corporal Quebec June 14, 2009
Alexandre Péloquin Private Quebec June 8, 2009
Michelle Mendes Major Ontario April 23, 2009
Karine Blais Trooper Quebec April 13, 2009
Jack Bouthillier Trooper Ontario March 20, 2009
Tyler Crooks Corporal Ontario March 20, 2009
Corey Hayes Trooper runswick March 20, 2009
Scott Vernelli Master corporal Ontario March 20, 2009
Marc Diab Trooper Quebec March 8, 2009
Dennis Brown Warrant officer Ontario March 3, 2009
Dany Fortin Corporal Quebec March 3, 2009
Kenneth O’Quinn Corporal Newfoundland and Labrador March 3, 2009
Sean Greenfield Sapper Manitoba January 31, 2009
Brian Good Trooper Ontario January 7, 2009
Gregory Kruse Sergeant Ontario December 27, 2008
Gaetan Roberge Warrant officer Ontario December 27, 2008
Michael Freeman Private Ontario December 26, 2008
John Curwin Private Nova Scotia December 13, 2008
Thomas Hamilton Corporal Nova Scotia December 13, 2008
Justin Jones Private Newfoundland and Labrador December 13, 2008
Demetrios Diplaros Private December 5, 2008
Mark McLaren Corporal Ontario December 5, 2008
Robert Wilson Warrant officer Ontario December 5, 2008
Prescott Shipway Sergeant Saskatchewan September 7, 2008
Andrew Grenon Corporal Ontario September 3, 2008
Chad Horn Private Alberta September 3, 2008
Mike Seggie Corporal Manitoba September 3, 2008
Shawn Eades Sergeant Ontario August 20, 2008
Stephan Stock Sapper British Columbia August 20, 2008
Dustin Wasden Corporal Saskatchewan August 20, 2008
Erin Doyle Master corporal British Columbia August 11, 2008
Josh Roberts Master corporal Saskatchewan August 9, 2008
James Arnal Corporal Manitoba July 18, 2008
Colin Wilmot Private Alberta July 6, 2008
Brendan Downey Corporal Saskatchewan July 4, 2008
Jonathan Snyder Captain British Columbia June 7, 2008
Richard Leary Captain Ontario June 3, 2008
Michael Starker Alberta May 6, 2008
Terry Street Private Quebec April 4, 2008
Jason Boyes Sergeant Manitoba March 16, 2008
Jérémie Ouellet Bombardier 1st Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Quebec March 11, 2008
Michael Hayakaze Trooper Alberta March 2, 2008
Étienne Gonthier Corporal Quebec January 23, 2008
Richard Renaud Trooper Quebec January 15, 2008
Eric Labbé Corporal Quebec January 6, 2008
Hani Massouh Warrant officer Quebec January 6, 2008
Jonathan Dion Gunner Quebec December 30, 2007
Nicolas Beauchamp Corporal Quebec November 17, 2007
Michel Lévesque Private Quebec November 17, 2007
Nathan Hornburg Corporal Alberta September 24, 2007
Raymond Ruckpaul Major Ontario August 29, 2007
Christian Duchesne Master corporal Quebec August 22, 2007
Mario Mercier Master warrant officer Quebec August 22, 2007
Simon Longtin Private Quebec August 19, 2007
Jordan Anderson Corporal 3Nunavut July 4, 2007
Cole Bartsch Corporal Alberta July 4, 2007
Colin Bason Master corporal British Columbia July 4, 2007
Matthew Dawe Captain Ontario July 4, 2007
Jefferson Francis Captain New Brunswick July 4, 2007
Lane Watkins Private Manitoba July 4, 2007
Stephen Bouzane Corporal Newfoundland and Labrador June 20, 2007
Christos Karigiannis Sergeant 3Quebec June 20, 2007
Joel Wiebe Private Alberta June 20, 2007
Darryl Caswell Trooper June 11, 2007
Darrell Priede Master corporal Ontario May 30, 2007
Matthew McCully Corporal Ontario May 25, 2007
Anthony Klumpenhouwer Master corporal Ontario April 18, 2007
Patrick Pentland Trooper April 11, 2007
Allan Stewart Master corporal Brunswick April 11, 2007
David Greenslade Private New Brunswick April 8, 2007
Kevin Kennedy Private Newfoundland and Labrador April 8, 2007
Donald Lucas Sergeant Newfoundland and Labrador April 8, 2007
Brent Poland Corporal Ontario April 8, 2007
Christopher Stannix Corporal Nova Scotia April 8, 2007
Aaron Williams Corporal New Brunswick April 8, 2007
Kevin Megeney Corporal Nova Scotia March 6, 2007
Robert Girouard Chief warrant officerNew Brunswick November 27, 2006
Albert Storm Corporal Ontario November 27, 2006
Darcy Tedford Sergeant October 14, 2006
Blake Williamson Private Ontario October 14, 2006
Mark Wilson Trooper October 7, 2006
Craig Gillam Sergeant Newfoundland and Labrador October 3, 2006
Robert Mitchell Corporal October 3, 2006
Josh Klukie Private Ontario September 29, 2006
Glen Arnold Corporal Ontario September 18, 2006
David Byers Private Ontario September 18, 2006
Shane Keating Corporal Saskatchewan September 18, 2006
Keith Morley Corporal Manitoba September 18, 2006
Mark Graham Private Ontario September 4, 2006
William Cushley Private Ontario September 3, 2006
Frank Mellish Warrant officer Nova Scotia September 3, 2006
Richard Nolan Newfoundland and Labrador September 3, 2006
Shane Stachnik Sergeant Alberta September 3, 2006
David Braun Corporal Saskatchewan August 22, 2006
Andrew Eykelenboom Corporal British Columbia August 11, 2006
Jeffrey Walsh Master corporal Saskatchewan August 9, 2006
Raymond Arndt Master Corporal Alberta August 5, 2006
Kevin Dallaire Private Alberta August 3, 2006
Vaughan Ingram Sergeant Newfoundland and Labrador August 3, 2006
Bryce Keller Corporal Saskatchewan August 3, 2006
Christopher Reid Corporal Nova Scotia August 3, 2006
Francisco Gomez Corporal Alberta July 22, 2006
Jason Warren Corporal Quebec July 22, 2006
Anthony Boneca Corporal Ontario July 9, 2006
Nichola Goddard Captain Alberta May 17, 2006
Matthew Dinning Corporal April 22, 2006
Myles Mansell Bombardier British Columbia April 22, 2006
Randy Payne Corporal Ontario April 22, 2006
William Turner Lieutenant Ontario April 22, 2006
Robert Costall Private Ontario March 29, 2006
Paul Davis Corporal Nova Scotia March 2, 2006
Timothy Wilson Master corporal Alberta March 2, 2006
Glyn Berry Diplomat Wales January 15, 2006
Braun Woodfield Private Nova Scotia November 24, 2005
Jamie Murphy Corporal Newfoundland and Labrador January 27, 2004
Robbie Beerenfenger Corporal Ontario October 2, 2003
Robert Short Sergeant New Brunswick October 2, 2003
Ainsworth Dyer Corporal Quebec April 18, 2002
Richard Green Private Nova Scotia April 18, 2002
Marc Léger Sergeant Ontario April 18, 2002
Nathan Smith Private Nova Scotia April 18, 2002


~ by sophiaxiv on October 17, 2009.

One Response to “Perspective”

  1. […] First Tweet 2 minutes ago quietbang Sophie new blog post The Afghan war…. view retweet […]

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