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Help The Troops This Memorial Day

Friendly Fire Memorial - Canadian Troops Remembered

Anita H. sends this story about remembering friends...

Fallen Canadian soldiers hailed as heroes at emotional service in Kentucky
10:55 PM EDT May 26

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (CP) - Four Canadians killed by U.S. friendly fire in Afghanistan were honoured Monday by their American fellow soldiers in a powerful, historic tribute that moved family members to tears and brought home the bonds forged by tragedy at war...

"Marc fought with his brothers and now he's with his brothers," said a shaken Richard Leger, father of Sgt. Marc Leger. "It means an awful lot to me to understand that."

Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer, Pte. Richard Green and Pte. Nathan Smith also died April 18, 2002, when an American fighter pilot mistakenly dropped a bomb on Canadians who were conducting a military exercise....

The four men, who served alongside U.S. soldiers as part of Task Force Rakkasan in the coalition against terrorism in Kandahar, are the first non-Americans to be included on the memorial wall.

"I don't think they could get any higher accolades than that; to be recognized by their friends and comrades," said Nathan Smith's father, Lloyd.

"It's not a political gesture. This is coming from the men on the ground. This is coming from the heart."

The event, held in a field on the sprawling base that's home to the 101st Airborne, included 180 regiment soldiers dressed in fatigues and berets. They were joined by 14 members of the Edmonton-based Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Three American soldiers who died in Iraq in 2003 were also honoured by the Rakkasans, who take their name from the Japanese term for paratroopers in the Second World War. It means "falling down umbrella."

Col. Michael Steele, commanding officer of the U.S. regiment's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, praised the seven men, including "four from our strong coalition partner and our good friend Canada" as "courageous soldiers who epitomized selfless service and heroism."

"This is an extended family," said Steele. "It includes not only those assigned to the regiment but also those who have fought side by side with our soldiers. Anyone who fights with us is a brother. He is a Rakkasan."...

Read the whole piece.  There's nothing more heart-breaking than a friendly fire incident.

I wonder if Col. Steele was Captain Steele of Task Force Ranger in Moghidishu...