While so much of the media and national focus has been Iraq, there is a strong U.S. and coalition presence in Afghanistan. Among the allies who continue to train and support Afghanistan soldiers and improve the lives of civilians are over 2,000 Canadians, a significant amount relative to contributions from the numerous other coalition countries. It was on a civilian mission that a dedicated civil affairs officer was attacked:
A Canadian civil affairs officer came in peace yesterday to a destitute Afghan village, removing his helmet and laying his weapon on the ground. He sat cross-legged with tribal elders and produced a notepad, into which he began to faithfully record the people's needs.The grievously-wounded soldier was CPT Greene (he is currently in serious but stable condition at the U.S. hospital in Landstuhl, Germany). Additionally, in the last weekend two Canadians were killed and two others injured in a serious vehicle crash (now recovering at Landstuhl).
From behind, a young man stepped forward suddenly from among the crowd of villagers and raised an axe above his head. With a single cry of "Allahu Akbar," he swung the blade into the top of the Canadian officer's head.
The Canadians aren't known for their military activites, but the blame for that lies on a government that is content to let the U.S. shoulder the vast majority of the burden of defending North America, not on the great professionalism and valour of the soldiers themselves. And yes, we don't always agree with our Northern Neighbors. But as John Donovan says, "There is a larger community of us out there who treat you as family, even if your family is well, you know, kinda like in-laws sometimes..."
So, go leave a message for our wounded brothers (in the comments of the linked post). Let them know we're aware of what they're doing and appreciate their courage and sacrifice.
CPT Greene's family will be arriving at Landstuhl tomorrow; let's give them a warm and supportive embrace across the miles.