| Jan 31, 2008

Letters - January 31, 2008

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Letters - January 31, 2008 LettersJanuary 31Re: Highway of Heroes, Dave WinneyRe: Highway of Heroes

I would like to thank Ina Hunt Turner for her comments on the Highway of Heroes stretch of 401 between Trenton and Toronto over which all of our fallen soldiers travel on their last ride home from Afghanistan.

Her comments are bang on and very current. Regardless of our personal beliefs and our politics, the soldiers that represent our country deserve our support. Our government chose to send these men and women and after all is said and done, the government is us. Every single one of us!

I can, without reservation, tell you that these are the finest men and women currently serving in uniform anywhere in the world. They are the best in the world at what they have been trained to do and they do it with great dignity and honour. We need to be proud of them because they deserve it.

They in turn are prepared to stand their post and proudly represent each of us, wearing our flag on their sleeves in spite of their fears and the demons that those fears bring. They have a right to be afraid, for the statisticians have finally recognized that the Canadianshave been paying a much higher price in Afghanistan than the Americans have in Iraq. Proportionately, the Americans have almost 80 times as many soldiers in Iraq as we have in Afghanistan. We have suffered four fatalities in the last month alone. A proportionate number of casualties in Iraq would be 320. So make no mistake, we are in a deadly war and have been for quite some time.

What troubles me in our little piece of paradise, here in the Land o' Lakes, is that we almost isolate ourselves from these ugly matters of the real world. Some of us (me included) get so wrapped up inthe wonder of ourday-to-day lives,our freedoms and the peace that it all brings. We choose to forget about our young people representing us faraway and in harms way.

I am proud to say that in my area I have friends whojoin me, my wife and my daughterevery Friday in wearing red shirts to advertise our support for our troops. I am also proud to walk into Snyders Restaurant on Hwy 41, on a Friday and see all the ladies there dressed in red.

My last tour of duty before retiring from the army for the second time was Afghanistan in 2005. My soldiers and I stood rigidly at attention(in Kabul)on four funeral parades that tour. One of those deaths I personally witnessed. I will be in Trenton this Sunday, wearing a red shirt, standing rigidly at attention to pay my respects to our latest fallen soldier.

Thanks again, Ina, for your comments!

Dave Winney

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