N.L. soldier's death devastates family
People in western Newfoundland are mourning the death of a Canadian soldier from Corner Brook killed by a bomb in Afghanistan.
Cpl. Brian Pinksen, 21, from 2nd Battalion, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, based in Corner Brook, western Newfoundland, was serving in Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.
Pinksen suffered injuries to his limbs and internal organs Aug. 22 when an improvised explosive device detonated near him during a patrol southwest of Kandahar.
He was flown to the U.S. military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for treatment but died at a hospital there Monday after his heart failed.
Pinksen's mother and girlfriend flew to Germany to be with him while he received treatment.
"His family members and his brothers wrote a letter and we sent it with his mom and they read it to him when he was awake over there so we have some closure to know that he heard our feelings toward him," Pinksen's uncle, Kerry Pittman, said Monday.
Pittman said the family is devastated by the news that the young soldier didn't survive.
"I was very shocked because we felt like he may have had a chance to get home," said Pittman.
He said his nephew loved the military and was eager to go to Afghanistan.
"He had such a passion for what he was doing that this is what he wanted to do for himself and for his country. For me, he was a role model for my kids," said Pittman.
In total,152 Canadian soldiers have died as part of the Afghan mission that began in 2002. Four Canadian civilians, including one diplomat, have also died in Afghanistan during the mission.