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295 Meetings
The next meeting of Division 295 will be held on August 16th at 11:00.

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Published: June 7th 2010
Source: TCRC 295

Brothers and Sisters,

There will be a repatriation service on The Highway of Heroes’ on Wednesday June 9th for fallen Canadian soldier Sgt. Martin Goudreault.

We will be placing a locomotive on the 401 overhead bridges at Oshawa Yard displaying two Canadian flags and two WE Support Our Troop flags.

The service is scheduled for approximately 1515 hrs to 1545 hrs. Please come out to show your support for our Canadian soldiers.

All personal protective equipment must be worn (safety boots, high- Vis vest, safety glasses). We will be parking at the top of the hill at Oshawa yard then walking to the 401 bridge.

Thank you
Craig Watt
Contact Mr. Watt

 

  
 

Sergeant Martin Goudreault, 35, was killed by an IED blast. He is the 147th Canadian to die in the Afghan mission since 2002.Published: June 7th 2010
Source: Matthew Fisher , Canwest News Service

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Sgt. Martin Goudreault, of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment in Edmonton, became the 147th Canadian to die in Afghanistan when he was killed by a homemade landmine just before dawn on Sunday while on a foot patrol about 15 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City.

Sgt. Goudreault, who was known as Marty to his friends, was from Sudbury, Ont., and had just begun his third tour in Afghanistan. The sapper was leading a patrol comprised of other members of the Royal Canadian Regiment battle group near the town of Nakhoney, when he was killed by the improvised explosive device.

Sgt. Goudreault’s patrol had earlier been searching for weapon caches in a remote part of Panjwaii District, which was controlled by the Taliban until Canadian Forces cleared the area of insurgents and began living among the population there several months ago.

“If your way of life was in peril, you would want someone like Sgt. Martin Goudreault to show up and offer you help,” said Brig.-Gen. Jon Vance, the Task Force Kandahar commander.

“Sgt. Goudreault died doing what he loved best: leading his section from the front. His subordinates and superiors alike will remember him as a tireless leader who was passionate about his work.

Brig.-Gen. Vance’s remarks were his first public comments since being named nine days ago as an emergency replacement for Brig.-Gen. Daniel Ménard who was suddenly sent home amid allegations of a sex scandal. Brig.-Gen. Vance arrived back in Kandahar four days ago. He was the task force commander here last year.

Sgt. Goudreault, 35, was on his fifth foreign tour. Although based in Western Canada, the Franco-Ontarian was attached to a unit from Petawawa, Ont., for this rotation in Afghanistan.

“Recognized early in his career for his leadership, Martin was a tremendous asset to his battle group and Task Force Kandahar,” Brig.-Gen. Vance said. “Always looking for a challenge, Martin was a qualified combat diver and had the highest personal standards of technical and tactical expertise.”

The bulk of Canada’s combat forces are now concentrated in Panjwaii, which senior NATO officers have often said is one of the most volatile areas in Kandahar and a key to rolling back the Taliban across their heartland in the south.

With Sgt. Goudreault’s death, nine Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan this year. The last to die before Sgt. Goudreault was Trooper Larry Rudd of the Royal Canadian Dragoons on May 24.

Thirty-two Canadians died in Afghanistan last year and in 2008. The worst year for Canadian casualties was 2006, when 36 soldiers died.

Four other NATO troops also died on Sunday, three of them in a vehicle mishap in the south of the country.

Like Sgt. Goudreault, more than two-thirds of the Canadians who have been killed in Afghanistan have driven or walked over improvised explosive devices buried in the dirt by insurgents. Relatively few of the Canadians who have died were killed in direct combat with the enemy.

According to statistics compiled the New America Foundation and cited by the Marine Times, there has been a 600% increase in IED strikes between 2004 and 2009.

Although NATO has had about 7,000 fewer troops fighting in Kandahar than Helmand, the number of IED strikes was nearly double in Kandahar than in the neighbouring province, the Washington-based think tank said.

Through the end of June 2009, more than 2,300 soldiers and civilians had been killed by IEDs in Kandahar compared with about 1,200 in Helmand, the foundation said.

NATO conducted major combat operations in Helmand three months ago. But the focus of its attention is turning to Kandahar this summer. Canada commands a joint Canadian force of about 5,000 troops.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has insisted that all 2,800 Canadian troops will leave South Asia by the end of next year when Parliament decided two years ago that all Canadians should wrap up their combat mission in Kandahar.

However, some members of a parliamentary delegation that visited Kandahar and Kabul last week said that they were open to discussing the possibility of several hundred Canadian troops participate in a new, much less risky training mission that, if approved by Parliament, would begin next year. The MPs promised an open debate of the issue before next winter.

Mr. Harper expressed “interest” in what the parliamentarians had to say, when asked about their visit on Friday while on a visit to France. However, for the moment Canada’s official policy remains that the troops will come home next year.

Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean offered her condolences to Sgt. Goudreault’s family, speaking of the dangers that Canada’s Armed Forces face in Afghanistan.

“We admire them all the more as their sense of duty compels them to answer their country’s call with valour, determination and incredible generosity,” she said in a statement.

“Sgt. Goudreault has given his all, sacrificing everything to this demanding and dangerous mission, convinced, along with the comrades he left behind, that he could help build a better future for a people who rightly aspire to freedom and security.”

Defence Minister Peter MacKay echoed Ms. Jean’s words in his own statement, saying Sgt. Goudreault “served to help build a safe and stable future for Afghans, and he did so with honour and pride.”

He went on to say that Sgt. Goudreault’s sacrifice would not be forgotten, nor would it deter Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan.

 

 
 
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