William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD


Another two killed in a LAV III car protecting good folks o’er near Kandahar
Perhaps we should have purchased the used South African A.P.C’s
Because five hundred pound bombs could not penetrate these!
More casualties are great ammo for our own Taliban Jack!
Who wants to cut and run and bring all our troops back?
And who is to say that perhaps he is not right?
Are we winning or losing this Afghanistan fight?
Serving soldiers, they cannot question why –
As they remain fighting beneath Afghanistan’s sky
But how many more Canadians must be wounded or die?
Before all mount the planes and then homeward fly?
Who will relieve the Canadians in the front line?
France, once again? She backs down each time!
They will have to decide before two thousand and nine?
When our mandate it ends – will a troop return then be fine?

Pte. Michel Levesque
Pte. Michel Levesque, 25, was from a small village north of the Laurentians and leaves behind a pregnant fiancée.
Cpl. Nicolas Beauchamp
Cpl. Nicolas Beauchamp, 28, leaves behind his common-law wife, who also serves in the Armed Forces.

Photographs by Cpl. Martine Morin/Canadian Armed Forces/Canadian Press


Updated Sat. Nov. 17 2007 2:34 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

Two Canadian soldiers and their Afghan interpreter are dead after a roadside bomb detonated. Three other Canadian soldiers were wounded in Saturday’s incident and were transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The dead have been identified as Cpl. Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp, 28, of the 5th Field Ambulance in Valcartier and Pte. Michel Levesque, 25, of 3rd Battalion, the Royal 22nd Regiment – popularly known as the Van Doos. Their hometowns have not yet been released by the military.

The incident occurred in Zhari District, about 40 kilometres west of Kandahar City. The soldiers were north of a Canadian forward operating base near the village of Bhazar-e Panjawaii when the blast occurred shortly after midnight. They were inside a LAV-III armoured vehicle.

Today’s deaths bring Canada’s toll to 73 military personnel and one diplomat since 2002. Saturdays’ deaths mark the first fatalities since Sept. 24, when Cpl. Nathan Hornburg died. A mortar shell killed him as he was out on patrol.

Retired Major General Lew MacKenzie told CTV Newsnet the incident took place more than 12 hours ago. While information is sketchy, MacKenzie said there are two main types of roadside bombs – more formally known as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs: The IED is fired at the vehicle, or is detonated as the vehicle drives over the device.

Military analyst Sunil Ram told Newsnet that IEDs are evolving. While vehicles like LAVs are well protected from landmine-style blasts from below, “we’re now seeing explosively formed projectiles… which can simply cut through the armour from the sides.”

MacKenzie thought Canadian troops were doing the best they could in defending themselves against IEDs. “I must give the forces a lot of credit, because they intercept the vast majority of these things – – some while they’re being built, some while they’re being set up, and some before they explode, “ he said. “But regrettably, in a volatile situation one or two of them, every once in a while, actually work, and tragically in this case is it actually did.”

Zhari has been an active area of operations in recent days, MacKenzie said.

That was echoed by Col. Christian Juneau at the Kandahar Air Field, who said the soldiers had been participating in a targeted security operation with Afghan forces. He told reporters that the Taliban were “desperate” to end their fall combat season on a high note with a “spectacular event.”

“This is an extremely difficult and emotional time for the families, friends and colleagues of those who have lost their lives or have been injured today, “ Juneau said.

“The presence of every single soldier here contributes to building a better future for the people of Afghanistan. I can only hope that this thought will be of some comfort to those who are grieving today.”