- Feb 8, 2007
- Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
Another great loss.
3 Canadian soldiers killed, 5 hurt in Afghan attack
Soldiers were based in Shilo, Man.
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 | 2:10 PM ET
The three Canadian soldiers, from left, Pte. Chad Horn, Cpl. Andrew Grenon, and Cpl. Mike Seggie, were killed in southern Afghanistan Wednesday morning. (DND)
Three Canadian soldiers who were set to return home later this month were killed Wednesday morning when their armoured vehicle came under direct attack in southern Afghanistan.
Five other soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously.
"The brave soldiers killed today were coming to the end of their tour," Brig.-Gen. Denis Thompson told reporters in Kandahar. "It saddens me to think of their loved ones, who were expecting them to return home later this month."
Cpl. Andrew Grenon, Cpl. Mike Seggie and Pte. Chad Horn were killed in the Zhari district of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province.
Thompson said that when the insurgents attacked the soldiers at about 9:30 a.m., the Canadians returned fire. Even the wounded soldiers pulled themselves out of the armoured vehicle and started firing back. Other details about the attack were not provided.
The eight soldiers were rushed out of the area, and three were pronounced dead at the Kandahar Airfield.
Soldier got bravery medal week before death
Thompson said the three dead were all members of 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry battle group, based in Shilo, Man.
Brig.-Gen. Denis Thompson said Canadian soldiers fought back when their vehicle came under attack Wednesday morning in Kandahar province. (CBC)
"Andrew, Mike and Chad gave their all in support of the mission," Thompson said. "We will honour their memory by remaining steadfast in our efforts to help the people of Afghanistan."
He said Grenon, a 23-year-old who was on his second tour in Afghanistan, brought "confidence to those around him and inspired the first tour guys, making them feel safe."
Grenon, who was originally from Windsor, Ont., saw fierce fighting and was twice injured on his first tour in 2006-07, but still volunteered to go back, according to the Windsor Star.
The newspaper said Grenon was awarded a bravery medal, called the Canadian Expeditionary Forces Commander's Commendation, a little over a week ago for preventing a riot and saving the lives of two soldiers during a battle on March 3.
"You have to prepare yourself that you might not come back," Grenon told CBC News before going to Afghanistan in 2006.
"It's a hard thing to do. It's a hard thing to accept. [But] the sooner that you accept it, the sooner that you realize the fact that your life will be in danger, the sooner that you can do your job without hesitation."
Seggie learned Pashtun to communicate with Afghans
Seggie, 21, came from a family of Patricias, as both his father and uncle served with the regiment, Thompson said. He said Seggie, who was "cool under fire," had a great attitude and would often make himself the butt of a joke just to get a laugh out of his comrades.
Thompson said Seggie had learned several Pashtun phrases in order to communicate better with the local population in Afghanistan.
Seggie, who had been stationed in Shilo for two year, was extremely close to his family and friends and excited about returning home to see his nephew, his family said in a prepared statement, published in the Winnipeg Free Press.
"Mike loved life and lived it to the fullest, there was never a dull moment when Mike was around. He enjoyed driving his 1968 Barracuda and showing it off any time he had the chance," the family said.
Calgary's Horn had 'unlimited potential'
Horn was a professional, hard-working soldier, Thompson said. At 21, the Calgary man had "unlimited potential and was admired by his peers."
Thompson said Horn was considered the best gunner in the company and was credited with saving the lives of many of his comrades during his time in Afghanistan because of his ability to act under fire.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, speaking to reporters in Windsor, called the soldiers' deaths a tragedy.
"These are tremendously brave men and women who put their lives on the line for this country, for its values and to help their fellow human beings," Harper said.
"We don't have a draft. They do it voluntarily. It's a tremendous tragedy whenever we lose one of them."
Thompson said one of the injured soldiers is in critical condition and another in serious but stable condition. Two are in good condition, and one has been treated and released from medical care.
The three deaths come exactly two weeks after three other soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in the same volatile Zhari district.
With the latest deaths, the number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan has risen to 96. Canada launched its Afghan mission in February 2002, and about 2,500 Canadian soldiers are now serving in the war-torn country, most of them in the volatile south.