Afghan mission took on new reality with the first casualties

Friday will mark the National Day of Honour to pay service to the 40,000 soldiers who served in the...

Friday will mark the National Day of Honour to pay service to the 40,000 soldiers who served in the Afghan mission. (QMI Agency File photo)

Ron Corbett, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:04 AM ET

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the lead-up to the National Day of Honour on May 9, we take a look back at Canada’s 12-year mission to Afghanistan.

* * *

There are some who would argue — and I would be one — that the Afghan Mission started on April 17, 2002.

It did not start with announcements from then Prime Minister Jean Chretien, or then Defence Minister Art Eggleton, about Canada joining Operation Enduring Freedom.

Did not start with Joint Task Force Two deploying to Afghanistan, the Navy sailing out of Halifax, or soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry arriving in Kandahar.

No, the true start of the Afghan Mission was April 17, 2002, the day Canada realized — and it hadn’t yet; that is something you tend to forget — that we had just sent soldiers into combat.


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