In honour of those who risked their lives serving in Afghanistan, notably the last Canadian solider killed, a light armoured vehicle was unveiled in Lacombe over the weekend.
More than 40,000 Canadians served in Afghanistan including Lacombian Master Corporal Byron Greff of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
In 2011, Greff was killed in a Kabul Suicide attack and on Saturday, the LAVlll monument was placed in his memory in the Field of Honour at the Fairview Cemetery.
Retired Captain Bryce Talsma, who also served in Afghanistan, said although he didn’t really know Greff, he understands the strength of the community when it comes to dealing with the loss of a loved one.
“I did not have the honour of knowing Byron exceptionally well, but I know what it is for families to (suffer) loss. I lost my best friend over there and seeing the impact it has on their families, it’s a hole that can never be filled.”
“With the support of family, friends and a strong community, you can move forward.”
Royal Canadian Legion Lacombe Branch No.79 played a major role in bringing the LAVlll to Lacombe and to see it placed is something President Susan Churchill said is extremely special.
“I always say we seem to remember our World War l and ll veterans, but we need to start remembering the newer veterans. This is where this Afghanistan monument comes in. It reminds people that our armed forces are still going and fighting for freedom.”
“It’s not just for our country, but for other countries.”
The Canadian-made LAVllls were used extensively in Afghanistan and were instrumental in carrying out many of the Canadian Armed Forces missions because of how sturdy they were, keeping the soldiers safe.