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  • Heroes...

    They risk their lives for us.. Its only appropriate that we make a thread acknowledging their sacrifices for us...


    This goes out to anyone who has a family member or friend serving the military...

    -Zeypi / CX777 - Cathay Pacific VA Junior First Officer

    Next Flights: FS2004
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  • #2
    From, the latest Canadian who gave all in the war on terror in Afghanistan. This hit home as I served there in a civilian capacity with the military 2003/2004, and still have many uniformed friends after a 22 year career in the Canadian Forces. Like the US Armed Forces, we now have many reservists serving in operational zones along their regular counterparts.

    By Sean Patrick Sullivan

    TORONTO (CP) - A Canadian killed in Afghanistan is remembered by family and friends as a outgoing, intelligent soldier who loved his girlfriend and was devoted to his work in the military.
    Cpl. Anthony Boneca, 21, a reservist from the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment in Thunder Bay, Ont., died of injuries received in a firefight west of Kandahar City on Sunday, three weeks before he was to return to Canada. Two other soldiers were wounded in the same battle.
    A family member, contacted at his parents' home in Thunder Bay on Sunday, said Boneca started in the militia and had been in the reserves for about four years, signing up immediately after high school.
    He wasn't married but had a "very lovely girlfriend" whom he had been seeing for well over a year, said Elizabeth Babe, 63, an aunt.
    Boneca had previously done tours that included guard duty in the United Arab Emirates and Kabul before arriving in southern Afghanistan in February, his aunt said.
    "He was always interested in the army," Babe added. "He just came home from one tour, worked a bit around, and signed up for the second tour.
    "He's just the most wonderful boy. Very loyal, very strong, very intelligent, and thrilled to be part of the services. A real angel of a person."
    The young soldier's uncle, William Babe, said his nephew was normally "enthusiastic, exuberant, thoughtful, sensitive, kind and brave."
    But he detected a change in Boneca's disposition in recent phone calls.
    "He was demoralized," he said. "He sounded down the last couple of calls, we were very worried about him."
    Ryan and Ian Benninghaus grew up five doors down from Boneca in Thunder Bay and said they couldn't have had a better neighbour.
    "Everybody loved that guy," said Ian, 27. "The neighbourhood is very close and everybody knew about his involvement with the military. Everybody supported him."
    The Benninghaus brothers got together on Sunday to watch the World Cup final - partly to take their minds off of their friend's death and partly out of respect for Boneca, an avid soccer fan.
    Ian remembered Boneca as a friendly teenager who would kick a soccer ball around the street by himself almost every night.
    "He was always practising his soccer moves. It's unfortunate, never once did I go out to play with him. I regret it so much now."
    As a five-year-old, Boneca would bike to the Benninghaus' house almost every day to visit the family's Persian cat, the brothers said.
    Ryan, 25, said Boneca told him he was looking forward to coming home during an online chat a few weeks ago.
    "He wanted to come home to be back with his friends and girlfriend," he said.
    Boneca had been able to enjoy a brief break from his harsh duties in Afghanistan - he and his girlfriend recently travelled to to Italy and Greece on a two-week leave, Ryan said.
    He sent an e-mail to friends last week, saying the pair had the time of their lives on the trip. "Wish I didn't have to go back to work. It's so hot here now you can barely handle it," he wrote.
    "I know you're all watching the news and know what's going on here, but don't worry, I'll be OK."
    Coalition troops will pay tribute to Boneca, the 17th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan, Monday morning.
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor and Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean issued statements on Sunday expressing their condolences to the family.
    "On behalf of Canadians, I praise Cpl. Boneca's courage and self-sacrifice and I take comfort knowing that his memory will live on in the spirit of fellow CF soldiers serving around the world, and in the hearts of his countrymen who pray for their safe return," Harper said.
    "My sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of this brave soldier, who died in the name of democracy, protecting the freedoms we cherish so strongly as Canadians, said O'Connor.
    Lieut. Virg Meredith, Boneca's platoon commander in Thunder Bay, described him as loyal, dedicated and energetic.
    "Boneca always lifted up your spirits," Meredith said.
    Boneca is listed on a government website as a recipient of the 2003 Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Award for Students, which recognizes volunteer work among graduating students at Ontario high schools