Hundreds pay tribute to fallen soldier at ramp ceremony
A soldier wounded in the explosion that killed Canadian Trooper Richard Renaud was among the hundreds who gathered at Kandahar airfield Wednesday to pay tribute to their fallen comrade.
The soldier was helped out of his wheelchair to pay his respects as Renaud's body was carried onto a military transport plane during an emotional ramp ceremony attended by around 1,500 soldiers and workers.
Renaud was killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb explosion in southern Afghanistan.
He had been part of a routine patrol in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province, about 10 kilometres north of the city of Kandahar, when the blast occurred.
The 26-year-old from Alma, north of Quebec City, was a member of the Valcartier-based 12e Régiment blindé du Canada, informally translated as the 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment. (The unit has no formal English name.)
Renaud, who joined the military in October 2004, left behind a pregnant wife and their first child, and a four-year-old stepson. Renaud also has two living parents and a sister.
Most of Canada's 2,500 troops participating in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan are in and around Kandahar province.
The death brings the total number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the mission began in 2002 to 77. One Canadian diplomat has also died on the mission.
With files from the Canadian Press