OTHER VOICES

Canada in Afghanistan

Posted July 18, 2011, at 6:21 p.m.

In the wake of the deaths of 157 brave Canadian soldiers and the wounding of hundreds more, the U.S. Army officially took over Canada’s battle space in Kandahar.

Ours was a job well done, and it is now farewell.

Canada’s combat mission in the terrorist backdrop of an embattled Afghanistan has finally come to an end.

Canada’s role now is a training mission. The guns have been put down, and our combat soldiers will be coming home.

As the battle line now closes, we salute every patriotic man and woman wearing a Canadian military uniform who ever set foot in that faraway land.

They did their own country proud, and they helped the Afghan people beyond measure.

This cannot be argued, although there will be those who dare to try.

Just pay them no heed.

During a feast in a compound that was once a Taliban headquarters, Haji Fazluddin Agha, governor of the embattled Panjwaii district, made a point of centering out just who made a difference in the lives of his people.

“The Canadians are our greatest friends,” he said.

There is nothing greater than being the “greatest” of friends, even if the compliment came at a great human price. …

The location where the feast was held in the Afghan town of Zalukhan, and where senior U.S. Army commanders now take control, demands emphasis because of what it was before our Canadian troops valiantly moved into the region in 2006.

Its eastern end, for example, was notoriously known as the Taliban Triangle, and it was rife with insurgents and chock-a-block with hundreds of improvised explosive devices hidden under roads, and in the entrances to buildings.

Thanks to our Canadian soldiers, today they feel safe.

Toronto Sun (July 14)

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