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Canada mourns the return of a fallen soldier

By Taylor Broderick [5]

BELLEVILLE – Many stood silently along the side of Hwy. 2 as Sgt. Andrew Joseph Doiron’s casket was carried off a CF-17 plane for a repatriation ceremony on Tuesday night at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton.

At the request of Doiron’s family, the ceremony was a closed affair. However, that didn’t stop people from coming out and paying their respects to the fallen soldier, Canada’s first casualty in its mission against the Islamic State of Iraq nad Levant (ISIL).

One lane of Hwy. 2, along the side of the base, was blocked off for parking. Empty spaces were quickly filled by media, military officials and people from the community who stood to watch the ceremony through the fence. They saluted and honoured the 31-year-old who died on March 6 by friendly fire when Kurdish soldiers opened fire against him and three of his squad mates as they were returning to their observation post at night.

Master Warrant Officer Grant Lewis, who serves at 8 Wing Trenton,  stood at the side of the road waiting for the motorcade to pass by. He says he came to pay tribute to Doiron.

“I’m here today to respect our fallen soldier who sacrificed his life in order to better lives here in Canada and abroad,” he said.

The outside of the base was not the only crowded area in Trenton. All along the route from the base to Hwy. 401, people were standing with Canadian flags as the motorcade drove by.

Dave Joi, a Trenton resident, stood at the corner of Hamilton Rd. and RCAF Rd., along with a few members of the Quinte West Fire Department.

“I’m so thankful for what a soldier does. I believe in what they’re doing and they can’t give any more of a sacrifice than what they’re giving. They deserve to be recognized,” Joi said.

Joi said he and his wife are out on the street with their flag each time a procession for a fallen soldier passes by on its way to the Highway of Heroes.

“They deserve to be thanked and this is the only way we can do it,” he said.

Joi’s brother currently serves in the military and is stationed in Belgium. Joi said he can’t imagine what it must feel like for the family of any slain soldier. 

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/selection-from-dave-joi.mp3 [6]

Doiron’s remains were taken to Toronto for an autopsy.