Canadian soldiers bid farewell to slain comrade

RackMaster

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Petawawa-based soldier killed in Afghan offensive

Canadian soldiers bid farewell to slain comrade

Last Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2007 | 8:49 PM ET
CBC News

About 500 soldiers lined the tarmac of Kandahar airfield on Saturday to bid farewell to a slain comrade, the 55th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan since 2002.

As bagpipes played, comrades of Cpl. Matthew McCully carried his flag-draped coffin to a waiting Hercules transport plane for the journey back to Canada.

Dignitaries attending the ramp ceremony were Brig.-Gen. Tim Grant, commander of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, and Arif Lalani, Canada's new ambassador to Afghanistan. Members of the Afghan army also were in attendance.

McCully, who was born in Orangeville, Ont., was killed Friday when he stepped on a landmine in the Zhari district of southern Afghanistan. An Afghan interpreter was slightly wounded in the blast.

"He was a very caring guy who just loved life," his father, Ron McCully, told CBC Newsworld from his home in Prince George, B.C., on Saturday. "His passion was the army. He lived it. He believed in what he was doing."

Matthew McCully was a member of Canada's Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, or OMLT. Maj. Peter Sullivan, the OMLT's acting commander, said he was a well-liked and professional soldier.

Sullivan said McCully would have wanted the OMLT's mission to continue, and that he would have been proud of how the Afghan troops performed in Friday's Operation Hoover, an offensive aimed at flushing out Taliban insurgents from the Zhari district.
Soldier's job a 'lifeline'

McCully was a signals operator from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signals Squadron based in Petawawa, Ont.

He served as a communicator and radio operator for both Afghan and Canadian troops in the field — their "lifeline," Sullivan said.

"Matt McCully was a tremendously professional soldier," Sullivan said Saturday at the airfield, where a Canadian flag was flying at half-mast at a nearby cenotaph.

"I found him certainly to be a mature young man, and somebody whose company was enjoyed by all, so he will be greatly missed."

As Canadian soldiers attended the ramp ceremony, there was news of more NATO casualties in southern Afghanistan.

A British soldier was killed and four others wounded in an explosion in an operation against Taliban insurgents.
Different approach needed: Layton

Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton said Saturday he hopes Canadians will ask the government to take a different approach to combat in Afghanistan.

Layton said his heart goes out to the family and friends of the fallen soldier, but added the debate about the Afghan mission has to continue.

"Our soldiers will risk their lives, according to what we request them to do. We saw yesterday the profound reality of that commitment," he said during an interview with the Canadian Press in Toronto.

In a surprise visit to Afghanistan last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave indications the government could extend the Canadian mission, telling soldiers it would be wrong to guarantee a pull-out date.

The NDP has called for an immediate withdrawal, while the Liberals want Canada to pull its troops when the current mission expires in 2009.
RIP Brother! Matt, I hope you found the peace we're all seeking.
VVV
 

pardus

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RIP Cpl McCully!

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STFU Layton and your NDP fucktards! :mad:
 

RackMaster

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STFU Layton and your NDP fucktards! :mad:
They are a bunch of asses and the Liberals are worse. The Liberal party are the ones that sent us to that theatre and then helped with the decision to switch AOR's to the south, ill prepared. At least the current Conservative Gov't has had the balls to keep the hand they were dealt and do their best to provide us the right Equip't for the job and support us through out.
 

RackMaster

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Military funeral planned for Cpl. Matthew McCully in Orangeville, Ontario

Military funeral planned for Cpl. Matthew McCully

The Canadian flags in Orangeville are at half staff. Cpl. Matthew McCully, 25, of Orangeville died May 25 when he stepped on a roadside bomb about 30 km east of Kandahar, Afghanistan. Cpl. McCully was conducting a joint Afghan-Canadian foot patrol at the time of his death.

Cpl. McCully grew up in Orangeville, was involved with Scouts Canada, and later did a high school co-op placement with the reserves. He attended Robert F. Hall Secondary School and later Orangeville District Secondary School. He joined the Canadian Forces five years ago and was a signals operator based in CFB Petawawa.

"It was a sad day Friday when we learned of the death of Cpl. Matthew McCully," Orangeville Mayor Rob Adams said. "You have to respect his courage, strength and conviction to fight and to lead so others could hope for a better life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. McCully."

Cpl. McCully's body is expected to arrive at CFB Trenton today. This will be the third repatriation ceremony the base has had in just a little over a month after two other Canadian solders lost their lives on the front lines in Afghanistan last month.

His fellow soldiers have fond memories of Cpl. McCully and say he was someone they respected immensely. "He was a leader, athletic, a very nice man and the unit is really feeling his loss right now," said Maj. James Lambert.

His sister, Shannon McGrady, 21, of Orangeville, said her brother was a role model for her and her younger brother while growing up with their mother in Orangeville. She said he was passionate about the military. Brother Daniel, 19, of Orangeville is currently enrolled at Seneca College. Cpl. McCully's father and stepmother live in Prince George, B.C.

His mother Valerie McGrady, who moved from Orangeville to the Mansfield area earlier this year, said her son planned to join the special forces, when he returned from Afghanistan, and to make a life career of the military.

A statement from the family reads:
"As the family of Matthew McCully we wish to express firsthand how proud we are of Matthew. Matthew was caring, outgoing, adventurous and a somewhat quiet young man. He had a "mission" and he was going to fulfill it at all costs. Matthew died doing what he wanted to do and doing what he truly believed in. Matthew will be greatly missed, he will be remembered as our and Canada's Hero. At this time we would like to extend a sincere thank you to our Canadian Army for their tremendous support to our family during this difficult time."
"The sacrifice Corporal McCully made in honour of Canada and the Canadian people will not be forgotten," said the Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence.

The Town of Orangeville has set up a book of condolence in the atrium of the Town Hall for members of the community to express their sympathy. A military funeral, with full military honours, will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. in Orangeville at Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 233 will be open for refreshments following the funeral. Donations can be made to Scouts Canada. Interment will be at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

FUNERAL - Parking Restrictions
There will be parking restrictions on Broadway, from First Street to Faulkner Street, and on John Street from Broadway to York Street, as of Thursday morning (May 31).
Orangeville Transit will provide buses to shuttle people from parking lots. Parking lots with shuttle service to Tweedsmuir Church (and back again) will include the Alder Street Recreation Centre, the Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre, Rotary Park, St. Timothy's Church at Centre Street and Dawson Road, and KingPin Bowling lot on Centre Street.
General parking within walking distance includes Dods & McNair Funeral Home, St. Mark's Anglican Church, the Lord Dufferin Centre, the Orangeville Town Centre, Westdale Plaza, and Egan's Funeral Home on Broadway. Local citizens are encouraged to walk. Parking will be extremely limited in the downtown core.
John Street, from Broadway to York Street, will be closed as there will be an audio and video feed on the street for the overflow crowd.
Orangeville's Public Works staff will assist with parking control.

* Posted: Monday, May 28, 2007
* From: Council
It will be quite the service, I am just sad that I could not be there; it is a small town and the out pouring of support was too great and all those except those directly involved with the Ceremony were turned away at the Families request. There will be having a Memorial Service on the Base in a week or two for his Military Family to pay their respects.
 
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