Canadian soldier, Pte. Patrick Lormand, 21, KIA

Canadian soldier, Pte. Patrick Lormand, 21, on his way home

By Bill Graveland (CP) – 49 minutes ago

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — It is always the same and it is always different.

About 2,500 soldiers ventured into the night Monday, casting long shadows on the runway at Kandahar Airfield to once again say goodbye to a fellow soldier.

Pte. Patrick Lormand, a 21-year-old infantryman remembered for his dedication to duty and his sense of humour, is the 12th Canadian soldier to die during the current rotation and the 130th overall since the mission to bring peace to his war-torn land began seven years ago.

The sadness on the faces of the soldiers from Canada, the U.S., Britain and the Netherlands is always the same. The way it impacts on the soldiers differs - some have never met the dead soldier while others are close friends.

"Sometime it is closure but the guy is in our company and it affects us directly and you always hope it's the last one," said Capt. Jean Vachon, the deputy commander in Lormand's unit.

Asked what special memory he had of Lormand, his reply was simple.

"A smile because he was happy to live, happy in what he did and it was a smile ... He had a good sense of humour and he loved to play poker."

The soldiers stood quietly in the darkness, the drone of jets coming and going at the busy airfield infringing on the privacy of the moment as the flag-draped coffin containing Lormand's body was loaded aboard the C-130 Hercules aircraft for the journey home.

One of Lormand's friends walked slowly behind the guard of honour, trying hard to contain his emotions.

"All the guys have to talk with each other and it's really important that we keep focused," said Vachon.

"If we have a good cohesion it's really like a family. We try to keep the focus on the mission, and after that to really take the time to mourn - it will be when we will be home."

Lormand was on a patrol Sunday when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device southwest of Kandahar city. Four other soldiers riding with him received minor injuries.

One week earlier, another blast took the lives of Maj. Yannick Pepin, 36, and Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin, 31, in the same area of the Panjwaii district.

Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.


Book Reviewer
As one of the few Canadian arrsers, I would like to say that all condolence posts are appreciated, and probably read by more canadians, and more canadian army personnel, than many on here may realise. Thank you.

For further information on Canada's Afghanistan casualties, there is a sticky in the Canada forum that serves as a 'book of rememberance' and has links to the CBC webpage that carries details of all the fallen.

Canada Forum - Canada's Fallen sticky

New Posts

Latest Threads