Emotional welcome home for Manitoba, Alberta-based soldiers

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Welcome home and a job well done! Now enjoy your rest with your loved ones; you earned it.


RIP to the fallen, you are not forgotten.

Emotional welcome home for Manitoba, Alberta-based soldiers

Last Updated: Friday, September 5, 2008 | 10:20 AM ET

CBC News


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A soldier returning from Afghanistan is welcomed home to Edmonton. (CBC)



A wave of Canadian troops have returned home from Afghanistan to an emotional welcome, just days after three Canadian soldiers were killed.
Friday morning, about 40 members of the Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and Fort Garry Horse reserves in Winnipeg were greeted with tears and hugs from relieved family and friends at the Minto Armoury.
A similar scene greeted about 50 troops at the Edmonton Garrison Thursday evening.
Waiting for the soldiers' arrival in Winnipeg — they were a couple of hours late — was nothing compared to the last six months for Pierre Gosselin, whose son, Jean Pierre, is a corporal with the Patricias and a roommate of Cpl. Mike Seggie, one of men killed earlier this week in Afghanistan.
"The toughest thing was to say goodbye and [wonder] are you going to see him seven months later? Or is he going to come back in a box?" he said.
Hearing the news of the deaths earlier this week terrified him, Gosselin said: "I said, holy Christ, that could have been my kid. Like, the luck of the draw: Mike stays and you go."
'You want to stay involved'

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Cpl. Gordon May is relieved to be back home, but says he also wanted to stay involved in Canada's mission in Afghanistan. (CBC)



Cpl. Gordon May, exhausted and ready for home after a long journey, said the work being done by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan is making a difference.
"Travelling throughout the countryside and into the city all the time they say they see the pattern of life is a lot more busy, people are getting back [to normal]," he said.
"All the markets are a lot busier, so obviously people are noticing the change and feeling safer to come out."
May had mixed feelings about his return.
"It's definitely a relief, but you almost don't feel like you don't want to completely drop it and step away and get right back into your life and not think about it again," he said. "You want to stay involved in some way if possible."
'Amazing moments'

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Cpl. Jason Moldovan holds his three-week-old baby girl Nadia for the first time. (CBC)



Meanwhile in Edmonton, it was an especially poignant welcome for Cpl. Jason Moldovan, who got to hold his three-week-old baby girl Nadia for the first time.
"Even though I saw photos, it doesn't really sink in until I'm holding her now," Moldovan said.
His wife Christina said she has been counting down the days.
"We decided to get pregnant before he left," she said. "In my heart I felt like I wanted to have something of him in case something bad would happen, you know. All I wanted is to have him home and it's amazing moments right now."
Moldovan described his six months in Afghanistan as a tough go, but said in spite of the fact 96 Canadian soldiers have been killed he still believes in the mission.
"I know that our Canadian troops are working on a dam, and once we get that dam going I'm sure the quality of life will improve for Afghanis. We want to bring electricity to them. It's worth helping these people," he said.
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.
 
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