"As I mused, the fire burned"

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Geoff Parker, RIP+

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It struck me just now, as I mourn the death of my friend Ed (see below) that it is the 2nd anniversary of the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Geoff Parker, who died 18 May 2010 as the result of a vehicle-borne IED in Afghanistan.

It’s a sad truth of this era that I probably don’t have to spell out ‘IED’ as it has become as much a part of our collective mind as bandaids or Cheez-Whiz.

Geoff and I did post-graduate studies together (in electrical engineering, not your typical infanteer education).

This summary, from the army cadets, talks about Geoff’s life:

Col. Geoff Parker, the highest ranking Canadian to be killed in Afghanistan, leaves behind a wife and two young children after he was killed in Afghanistan by a suicide car bomb today.

Col. Parker, 42, was the 145th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan. As a commanding officer, he was often quoted speaking about the deaths of soldiers under his own command, always treating them with compassion and respect.

One Canadian Forces member travelling in a NATO convoy was killed after an insurgent detonated a vehicle borne improvised explosive device between the convoy of vehicles in Kabul at approximately 8 a.m. local Afghanistan time on May 18, 2010. Colonel Geoff Parker killed this morning in the suicide bomb attack that also killed 5 US servicemen.

“There was no hesitation in his mind that that was the place for him … happy to do what was required of him in theatre,” he said of a soldier who died in 2008, the year after he moved to CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick.

Col. Parker’s official biography, published by the Department of National Defence, describes him as a natural leader and career soldier born in Oakville, Ont. Flags in his hometown have been lowered to half mast. In 2007, Col. Parker moved his family to CFB Gagetown to take over a Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment. He and his family looked forward to exploring the Maritimes.

He joined the military in 1989 while still a student at the University of Western Ontario. When he graduated the following year with a Bachelor of Engineering Science, he finished his Infantry Officer training and was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment in London, Ont., the following year. In 1992, Col. Parker moved north to Petawawa, Ont., with the battalion and wound up commanding a M113 rifle platoon, among others.

From there, Col. Parker moved to Belleville, Ont., for another posting. He returned to Petawawa in 1996. Four years later, he was promoted to Major. In 2003, his ascending career took him to Toronto, where he attended the Canadian Forces College. He then returned to Petawawa as the G3 of the 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG). During his tenure, the force generated three Afghanistan Rotations. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 2006, and shortly thereafter moved to CFB Gagetown.

A few months ago, Col. Parker and his family moved back to Ontario. When he died, he was in Kabul as part of a NATO team preparing for their upcoming mission, DND said in a statement.

Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, said in a statement:

“This barbaric act of aggression in the middle of rush hour reminds us of the many dangers our brave military personnel and the Afghan population are exposed to every day. Despite this tragedy, the will of Colonel Parker’s brothers- and sisters-in-arms to protect the Afghan people remains unshaken. Together with NATO forces, they are fully committed to fulfilling their difficult mission of restoring justice and peace to a country ravaged by decades of oppression and injustice.”

Col. Parker leaves behind his wife, M.J., and his children, Charlie and Alexandria.

Col. Parker was a cadet in 1188 Lorne Scots RC(Army)CC in the 1980s


Written by sameo416

May 17, 2012 at 9:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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