William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

THE HEROES OF AFGHANISTAN RETURN

Canadians from Coast to Coast to Coast
Are missing young folks that they love the most
For more Canadian Soldiers the bugler will play last post
They’ll gave up their lives for the their Afghan host

Canada sends her young women and men
Into the breach of battle once again
Against medieval warriors that are called Taliban
Who are trained in the hills of near by Pakistan

Our weapons are better and our people are skilled
And that’s why so many of the Taliban are killed
Our snipers are expert at the real long distance hit
but it’s not politically correct to talk about it!

Our troops have won victories and all that is said
Is the wide media coverage of our Canadian Dead
We don’t hear about the battles that our troops they have won
Our Militiamen come home in ones and twos when their tour is done!

No din no parades, no fanfare, no beating of drums
For these Canadian Warrior heroes when homeward they come
Back to the city, village and town and to the old family farm
Come our survivors and the wounded, now safe from the harm!

Our battle soldiers who need it should be seen by VAC
these heroes who fought to keep the Afghans all free
Let Canada treat those who suffer from PTSD and grief
When they come back home to our wonderful land of the Maple Leaf!

Author’s Note: Military end-of-tour rotations take place all across this great Nation; no fanfare, no parades, no welcome home parties – it is simply back to civvie jobs with the gratitude of a grateful nation. It will behove VAC to keep track of these heroes to avoid self medicating on alcohol and drugs for those who might be prone to suffer from PTSD. Each of these heroes should be on a medical follow up. They gave their all and loyally served their country, now as they return we should honour them, and honour their comrades who fell. Let us all attend a cenotaph this Saturday and remember the sacrifice Canada’s soldiers are giving in the quest for global harmony.

Welcome Home, Our heroes
Billy Willbond – Canadian Soldier Poet
November 7, 2006

Pte Laurie Leavett-Brown welcomed home by sister, Holly
IT’S REALLY GOOD TO BE BACK: Pte Laurie Leavett-Brown receives flowers and a hug from his younger sister, Holly Leavett-Brown, at Victoria International Airport yesterday. Darren Stone: Times Colonist

Two Weary Reservists Grateful To See Families After Afghan Mission

By Cindy E. Harnett
Times Colonist Staff

Still in their well-worn dusty boots and beige fatigues, two reservists returning from Afghanistan arrived home in Victoria last night, tired but grateful for the simple embrace of family and the anticipation of a home-cooked meal.

Suntanned and weary, the signal operators of 741 Communication Squadron arrived at Victoria International Airport, following a nine-month tour of duty.

“It’s really good to be back,” said Pte. Laurie Leaven-Brown, 21, as he hugged his sister, brother and parents. Also in the receiving line was a pair of grandmothers and a great-grandmother.

Leavett-Brown’s youthful countenance, rosy cheeks and few words belie the lifetime of experiences he’s had during his tour of duty.

“[Afghanistan’s] a really hot dry place where bad things can happen sometimes,” he said. That’s it.

Watching fallen soldiers returned to Canada was the worst of it for the young man who plays guitar and violin in church.

Leavett-Brown, whose job it is to set up communication systems on the move, spent time in much smaller forward camps in Kandahar where his camp was shelled, said his mother. It’s a stunning contrast to the life he’ll return to over the next few months of scheduled rest.

His grandmother brought him the birthday cake he should have had back on June 3 when he turned 21.

Cpl. Allison Geddes
Cpl. Geddes
Misses her mom
Twenty-two year old Cpl. Allison Geddes’ return home to family wasn’t as joyous as that of her colleague. Her 14-year-old brother and her father were present, but her mother, a Canadian Forces vehicle mechanic, was recently sent to CFB Borden in Ontario for a two-year stint.

“It is sad,” she said, noting she had hoped the pair could spend Remembrance Day together.

Geddes will never forget the sight of the war-ravaged country’s burnt-out buildings, rickety old trucks and the weathered faces of hard-working people against a beige backdrop of swirling sand and dust.

But moreover, she said, she remembers the human kindness and connections she made.

“They are really friendly people once you connect with them and make an effort to know their culture.’ said Geddes.

“Their culture is all about giving and receiving. The more they would give you, the better they would feel,” she said. “It really makes me want to change the way I live my life.”

Arriving home in Nanaimo last night were Sgt. Edwin Peeters, Master Cpl. Nolan Vollmer, and Cpl. Darcy George of 748 Communication Squadron.

More than 2,000 members of the Canadian Forces are in Afghanistan, including about 30 from CFB Esquimalt.