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May 14th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 19
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Bellevue Legion hosts National Afghan War Veterans Memorial
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Robert Thomas photo
Corporal Aaron Kozler, and his grandfather Private Frank Zeller, lay a wreath in memory of the Canadian Soldiers and personnel who lost their lives in the conflict.
ROBERT THOMAS
Pass Herald Reporter
This past Friday Legions across Canada came together to remember those who served in the Canadian-Afghanistan mission.
Over 40,000 veterans were honoured across the country, as well as the 158 soldiers, one diplomat and one journalist who lost their lives in the conflict.
At the Bellevue Legion, members of the community assembled to remember the sacrifice that all the veterans gave, as well as local hero, Corporal Aaron Kozler, who served in the Province of Kandahar.
Corporal Kozler served our country in Afghanistan for seven months, working with the forces to build roads and schools for the citizens of Afghanistan.
“The best part of it was, we were over there for reconstruction. We built schools and did road work. Seeing some of the people’s faces, especially the kids it was amazing,” said Kozler. “No matter where you go in the world I think the kids, and the civilian population really appreciate us and the Canadian Forces, you can see it in their eyes.”
Over the last 12 years Canadian forces have been on the ground, helping rebuild a war-torn country. With the help of Canadian forces, thousands of local security forces have been trained to provide a stable defense force.
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Canadians have helped pave hundreds of kilometres of roads. They have built dozens of schools, allowing children to have access to education.
“It really was a great tour, it was a good experience and I am glad that I could serve my country,” said Kozler, adding “there were some hard times, we went through a lot. When I thought I was down, or when I was tired, or homesick I thought of home. I thought of my family, I thought of my friends, my buddies who did lose their lives over there and it made me appreciate so much more when I did come home.”
Corporal Kozler was honoured in a service at the Legion, his grandfather Private Frank Zeller, who served in Europe in World War II, was there to show support for his grandson.
Wayne Shaw, Deputy District Commander of District 6 Legions, gave a heartfelt opening speech, touching on the fact that many veterans come home, dealing with PTSD, or other mental illnesses.
“Just being able to do this for the troops in Afghanistan, being able to thanks them for what they have done is great. The Legion was formed to support the military and their families. To this day that is what we are all about; we are here to help support our veterans. Our veterans are dying off faster than we are recruiting new members to the Legion, that is why our Legions are hurting,” said Shaw.
For more information on joining a Legion in your area visit http://www.legion.ca
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May 14th ~ Vol. 84 No. 19
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