Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Postings from Afghanistan -- A Kandahar Journal -- Memorial service for the six
National Post ^ | 2007-07-09 | Richard Johnson

Posted on 07/09/2007 11:40:23 AM PDT by Clive

8.50 a.m. in the media tent at FOB MaSum Ghar.

I was sitting checking my email and wondering where the day would take me when I noticed a steady procession of soldiers passing the front of the tent, all dressed in uniform. Long sleeves, long pants, boots and boonie hats.

The standard outfit for those off duty is T-shirt(optional), shorts and flip-flops, and for those on duty, kevlar and helmet. So I twigged right away that something was up. I grabbed the camera stuck it in my back pocket and joined the stream of soldiers. I asked one what was going on and he told me they were having a small memorial service for the six fallen.

No one had bothered to let me know.

They walked quietly from all over the base. In groups or individually. There was none of the smiling or casual banter that would normally accompany such a large gathering. Of all of the soldiers I knew none would meet my eye. No one asked me to leave.

The Sergeant Major formed all of the men into a tight horseshoe and called them to attention. I tucked myself in at the back, in the partial shade of a tent. The 300 men and women were told to stand at ease and then to stand easy.

Commander Walker introduced the Major Kevin Klein the padre whom I had met back at Kandahar Air Field (KAF) a week ago. He had come out specifically to perform the service. He told the assembly that his words were identical to those spoken during the ramp ceremony last night in KAF

Repeated or not, his words in the already blistering heat of 9.00 a.m. held everyones heads down on their chests as he spoke.

I did not come to this gathering with sketching in mind. I came to pay my respects with everyone else. I was glad that I had not missed the opportunity to do so. I held my head down and listened with everyone else.

Towards the end I lifted my head. My view without moving an inch left or right had the padre framed by two soldiers with their heads down. The weight of their weapons seemed particularly poigniant to me. I knew I wanted to draw this scene.

Afterwards when the soldiers had been dismissed I weaved through them to the padre and told him that I might work on something from the ceremony.

He did not seem surprised.



TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror

1 posted on 07/09/2007 11:40:24 AM PDT by Clive
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child; albertabound; AntiKev; backhoe; Byron_the_Aussie; Cannoneer No. 4; ...


2 posted on 07/09/2007 11:41:10 AM PDT by Clive
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Clive
Tough looking Chaplain...
3 posted on 07/09/2007 11:47:35 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Clive; GMMAC; Pikamax; Former Proud Canadian; Alberta's Child; headsonpikes; Ryle; albertabound; ...

4 posted on 07/09/2007 11:49:47 AM PDT by fanfan ("We don't start fights my friends, but we finish them, and never leave until our work is done."PMSH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Joe 6-pack


5 posted on 07/09/2007 11:51:09 AM PDT by iceskater (Illegal immigration = invasion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson