William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

KILLED IN ACTION

The morning of the third of June in a B Coy battle against the Taliban
Captain Rich Leary was killed in action near the village of Talukan
Panjwayi District of Kandahar in the Free Republic of Afghanistan
Rich, he will be coming home soon –ramp repatriation’s on the 6th of June

Four other PPCLI soldiers in Zhari District were wounded and medically evac’d
It was an improvised explosive device and on 2 June and from a small arms attack
The flags at the wall of honour are now at half mast –as done for our heroes in the past
The Regimental Major sends out the bad news about each brave Patricia that we lose

A direct entry soldier – Rich gave his life – leading a platoon in the profession of Arms
So that woman and children could attend school without the constant Taliban harm
Canada continues to give up her son’s in these small battles – out on the bloody field
Trained to advance – one takes a big chance – leading soldiers who never will yield

Hear the marching of feet and the drums as they beat and pipers playing lament
Home comes another son to the beat of the drum –he went where voluntarily sent
Troops march with pride – the tears they can’t hide as the coffin comes onto the plane
Eyes that are teary say goodbye Captain Leary – will we e’er see your ilk again?

Author’s Note: This poem was prompted by the following e-mail from Colonel Don Ethell OC, OMM, OStJ, MSC, AOE, CD who received this report from the Regimental Major of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Afghanistan. The poem was inspired by the RM’s report

-----Original Message-----
From: [email address and name provided]
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 8:28 AM

Subject: PPCLI Fatality & Casualties Afghanistan 2–3 June 2008

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen:

Captain Richard Leary
Captain Richard Leary – B Coy 2nd Bn PPCLI
I am writing to inform you that Captain Richard (Rich) Steven Leary was killed in action in Afghanistan this morning (3 June). Captain Leary was serving as a platoon commander in B Company, 2 PPCLI Battle Group. He died from wounds sustained in a firefight near the Village of Talukan in Panjwayi District, Kandahar, Afghanistan. Captain Leary was born in Brantford, Ontario on 11 September 1975. He attended McMasters University, graduating with a BA in History. Captain Leary enrolled in the Canadian Forces as a direct entry officer in January 2004 and was posted to 2 PPCLI on completion of his Basic Infantry Officer training in September 2006. This was his first overseas mission. Captain Leary leaves behind his wife Rachel, his parents Rick and Gail and his sister Brandy. Captain Leary and his wife Rachel had no children. Captain Leary’s Ramp repatriation is tentatively scheduled to take place on Friday, 6 June 2008. Details of his funeral arrangements and an address for sympathy cards will forwarded as soon as the information is available.

On other fronts, four PPCLI soldiers were wounded in two separate incidents in Zhari District yesterday (2 June). One soldier was seriously wounded by small arms fire. Three more soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). One of these soldiers received very serious injuries. All of these soldiers were evacuated to Kandahar Airfield. They are stable condition and undergoing medical treatment at this time.

Please disseminate as appropriate.