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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I the middle of nowhere

Cpl James Arnal

Cpl Arnal's mother Wendy and brother Andrew besides James' plaque.

Canada has been in Afghanistan for eight years, and in that time 140 of our men and women have given their lives in extraordinary acts of courage and bravery for their country. Cpl James Arnal was the 88th soldier to sacrifice all. His mother Wendy, and brother Andrew, went to Kandahar last September. What follows is Wendy's account of their journey, in her own words:


(c) Wendy Hayward

I was fortunate to travel to Kandahar Air Force Base with our military and experience something awesome, and I mean that in every sense of the word. This phrase covers the whole spectrum of impressions, and that is why I feel compelled to share my experiences and the validation it gives to our cause and the global crises of not only 50 million landmines in over 70 countries, but also the need for the help necessary in a country that has been riddled with wars for over 30 years. The more I research this crisis, the more daunting the task seems to become. I was told by someone recently that it would take 500 years to rid the world of all the landmines! There are reported to be over 650,000 landmines in Afghanistan ... the middle of nowhere.

To me Afghanistan, and more specifically Kandahar Air Force Base, is an area that prior to being there was more surreal than it is to me today. Upon my arrival, “the middle of nowhere” became real in many ways – physically, mentally and emotionally. This was no longer a place described to me by my son, but rather a reality that he lived and that I needed to experience for myself. “The middle of nowhere” wasn’t just the geographical location of Afghanistan to me, but rather the place my son died; and I knew I needed to experience it as part of my journey to not heal – because I don’t think I ever will – but cope with this loss. This trip made the middle of nowhere real. ...

Go read the rest at Family Security Matters here.