Soldiers body returning home

CanWest News Service
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan Into a glorious setting sun and the belly of a Canadian Forces Hercules, the Maple Leaf-draped casket of Capt. Richard Leary, Stevo to his friends, was carried Wednesday to start the final trip home from the war zone of Afghanistan.

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan Into a glorious setting sun and the belly of a Canadian Forces Hercules, the Maple Leaf-draped casket of Capt. Richard Leary, Stevo to his friends, was carried Wednesday to start the final trip home from the war zone of Afghanistan.

His wish to serve his country by leading his troops into combat was one of his greatest desires, said Canadian battle group chaplain Capt. Darren Persaud.

When he was informed that he was coming to Afghanistan, he could not have been happier.

Thousands of NATO troops lined the runway as Learys company comrades, followed by a piper playing a lament, carried the coffin into the aircraft bound for home.

Leary, 32, was the second Canadian soldier in a month to die in an ambush while on foot patrol west of Kandahar City. He was leading his platoon during a small-arms fire fight Tuesday morning when he was shot the 84th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since 2002.

He was always pushing it, pushing it as much as he could ... he was a real inspiration to his troops, said Lt.-Col. Dave Corbould, battle group commander with Canadas Joint Task Force Afghanistan.

Corbould said Learys men would likely hold a small ceremony in the field, but that they would not be interrupting their work.

As Capt. Leary was loyal to his men, theyre loyal to his memory and theyre getting on with the mission, he said.

Leary is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart Rachel of Shilo, Man., his Brantford, Ont., parents and a sister.

A McMaster University history graduate who completed officer training in Sept. 2006, Leary served with 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry based at CFB Shilo. He was serving his first tour in Afghanistan.

The Canadians have seen a lot of action in recent days, including roadside bomb and suicide driver attacks, as well as regular fighting with the insurgents in southern Kandahar Province.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued condolences on behalf of the government.

We honour Captain Leary's sacrifice. His efforts will not be forgotten, Harper said. The Afghan people have a right to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. These are the values that we hold dear in Canada and these are values that our brave Canadian Forces members are working to promote in Afghanistan.



Organizations: Canadian Forces, NATO, McMaster University

Geographic location: Afghanistan, Maple Leaf, Shilo Kandahar Brantford Southern Kandahar Province Canada

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments