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5 Sept 09: Yannick Pepin, Jean-Francois Drouin, R.I.P.


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From CBC News, with the usual disclaimers.

2 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Two more Canadian soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb explosion Sunday in southern Afghanistan, the military said.

Since 2002, 129 Canadian soldiers now have been killed serving in the Afghanistan mission. One Canadian diplomat and two aid workers have also died in action.

The latest victims were identified as Maj. Yannick Pepin, 36, and Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin, 21, who were killed around noon local time. Both were members of the 5 Combat Engineer Regiment.

Five others were injured in the incident. The two soldiers were riding in an armoured vehicle as part of a military convoy travelling on a road southwest of Kandahar city.

Deputy task force commander Col. Roch Lacroix said both men embodied "patience and determination."


Condolences to their families and friends.  :salute:
RIP Troops....

Our condolences to the families of our comrades..... :salute:

dammit. We go a couple weeks without bad news and I start to get a bit complacent. News like this is just tragic.
Heartfelt condolences from my wife and I to the brave soldiers and their families.
Terrible news.


If anyone would like to take a moment, please leave a message on the individuals memorial page on my website: here and here.
RIP soldiers.  My thanks to you, and my prayers to your families.
My deepest condolences to the family and comrades of both these men.  It was not news that I wanted to hear upon arrival back at CM after the HLTA.  I am gutted once again.  Fair winds and following seas, comrades.
I am wishing the wounded a speedy recovery.

As for the two KIA's, this is always such bad news, and I feel I am sounding like a broken record.

Tonight I am thinking of mates left behind, and family back in dear ole Canada.

To hear this never gets any easier......

May your family find peace in knowing that you were trying to make the world a better place. 

There is not greater gift one man can give.  :cdn:

RIP boys

Robin :yellow:
Our condolences to the families and friends........RIP.........your sacrifice will not be forgotten.......... :salute:
Two Canadian soldiers killed in IED blast
Updated Mon. Sep. 7 2009 6:43 AM ET

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- The deadliest foe facing NATO soldiers travelling the roads of this war-torn nation claimed two more Canadian lives Sunday.

A powerful roadside bomb blast hit an armoured vehicle that was part of a Canadian convoy on a road southwest of Kandahar, bringing to 129 the total number of Canadian soldiers who have died as part of the Afghan mission since it began in 2002.

Killed in the explosion were 36-year-old Maj. Yannick Pepin and Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin, 21 who were killed by an the IED explosion around noon local time in the Dand district, southwest of Kandahar city on Sunday.

Both men were members of the 5 Combat Engineer Regiment and were stationed in Valcartier, Que.

"Today the entire task force is mourning our fallen comrades," an emotional Col. Roch Lacroix, deputy commander for Task Force Kandahar said late Sunday night with the cenotaph marking each of Canada's fallen soldiers clearly visible in the background.

"Saying goodbye to Yannick and Jean-Francois so prematurely is hard for me, it is hard for their friends, and it's hard for their families," Lacroix said.

"Engineers like Yannick and Jean-Francois....put in a great deal of effort in Afghanistan where they're denying the ability of the insurgents to kill innocent victims on a large scale or simply reconstructing a bridge, roads, schools with their Afghan partners."

Five others were also injured but their conditions are not serious said Lacroix who noted one had already been released from hospital.

The IEDs have been the cause of death in the large majority of Canada's battlefield casualties. They are cheap, easy to make and allow the Taliban to exact a high price on NATO troops without ever having to show their faces.

Lacroix spoke fondly of the two fallen warriors.

"Nothing comes easy here and it takes patience and determination - two qualities that both men embodied. Today is the time to grieve but tomorrow we will continue our work to better the lives of Afghans."

Pepin had been in the Canadian Forces for a decade and took great pride in the mission and was devoted to helping and supporting his troops. He leaves behind his partner Annie and two children - Alexandra and Charles.

Pepin also possessed human values and remarkable compassion explained Lacroix.

"Proof of this was when he was on patrol once and stopped his vehicle to take a kite out of the antenna from his vehicle. He handed it to the small Afghan child who thought it had been lost. That day he carried a big grin," remembered Col. Lacroix.

"Yannick was a man of action who was always involved in things and put his personal interests second. We miss him enormously."

Drouin was already showing great promise with his military career. He was known as 'Big Drou' to his friends and remembered as somone who liked to make others laugh.

"Jean-Francois was a very generous man with a big heart," Lacroix said. "As big a heart as the three pieces of steel he liked to lift in the gymnasium."

Drouin was an exemplary soldier who was able to show his capacities as a leader when he had the occasion," said Lacroix.

"He received an accelerated promotion to corporal just before coming out on what was sadly his last mission."

Drouin is survived by his partner Audrey.

It has been five weeks since a roadside bomb attack in the Zhari district claimed the lives of two other Canadian soldiers.

Sapper Matthieu Allard, 21, of the 5th Combat Engineers Regiment and his friend, Cpl. Christian Bobbitt, died in a roadside bomb attack.

Allard and Bobbitt, both combat engineers, were in Afghanistan with the 2e Batallion of the Royal 22e Regiment, based in Valcartier, Que.

They had dismounted from their vehicle to secure the area after an initial blast near the town of Senjaray, when they were killed by a second explosion.

A three-man Societe Radio-Canada television crew was part of the convoy but were not hurt. They refused requests for interviews.


Maj. Yannick Pepin is shown in this undated handout photo. Two Canadian soldiers Pepin, 36 and Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin, 21, were killed by roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan on Sept. 6, 2009. (Department of National Defence)


Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin is shown in this undated handout photo. Two Canadian soldiers Maj. Yannick Pepin, 36 and Drouin, 21, were killed by roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan on Sunday Sept. 6, 2009.(Department of National Defence)
News Release
Two Canadian soldiers killed and five injured in an explosive device strike
CEFCOM NR–09.023 - September 6, 2009

OTTAWA– Two Canadian soldiers were killed and five injured when an improvised explosive device detonated near their armoured vehicle in the vicinity of Dand District, approximately 14 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City at around 12:00 p.m., Kandahar time, on 6 September 2009.

Killed in action was Corporal Jean-François Drouin from 5e Régiment du génie de combat serving as a member of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group based in Valcartier, Quebec.

Killed in action was Major Yannick Pépin also from 5e Régiment du génie de combat serving as a member of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group based in Valcartier, Quebec.

The injured members were evacuated by helicopter to the Role 3 Multi-National Medical Facility at the Kandahar Airfield and are in good condition. The identities of the injured members will not be released.

Our thoughts and condolences go to the family and friends of our fallen comrades.

Canadian soldiers and their ANSF partners work together for the greater good of Afghanistan. Security operations sometimes require a heavy price to be paid, but the challenge we face cannot deter us from our ultimate goal and commitment we have toward Afghans.
Message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, on the death of Corporal Jean-François Drouin and Major Yannick Pépin
September 7, 2009

OTTAWA— My husband Jean-Daniel Lafond and I were saddened to hear of the death of Corporal Jean-François Drouin and Major Yannick Pépin, both from 5e Régiment du génie de combat serving as members of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group, based in Valcartier, Quebec. An improvised explosive device detonated near their armored vehicle while they were southwest of Kandahar. This terrible strike also injured five other members, who were evacuated by helicopter.

Our Canadian Forces soldiers deployed to one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan continue to demonstrate extraordinary selflessness and courage. Our thoughts are with them at all times, as we know to what point they brave danger daily and make every effort to lend a helping hand to a people deprived of the most basic rights. We cannot remain indifferent in the face of the altruism and sense of duty displayed by these exceptional men and women. 

We join all Canadians at this painful time in offering our most sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of Corporal Drouin and Major Pépin. We extend to them our deepest sympathy. We also want to wish a quick recovery to the five injured members of this convoy. May they recover from this adversity under the best conditions. Our hearts are with them.

Michaëlle Jean


Media Information:
Annabelle Cloutier
Rideau Hall Press Office

Statement from the Prime Minister of Canada
7 September 2009
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today on the death of two Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan:

"To the family and friends of Corporal Jean-François Drouin and Major Yannick Pépin, who died today in Afghanistan, I offer my sincerest condolences. Be reassured that an entire country stands behind you at this difficult time.

Corporal Jean-François Drouin and Major Yannick Pépin died when an improvised explosive device detonated near their armoured vehicle in the vicinity of Dand District. Five other Canadian Forces members were injured in this cowardly attack, and I send them my wishes for a speedy recovery.

I join with Canadians who proudly support our men and women of the Canadian Forces as they courageously risk their lives every day to bring peace and security to the people of Afghanistan.

The sacrifices of these soldiers will not be forgotten and this tragic event will not deter us from continuing to help Afghans rebuild their country.

Real, measurable progress has been made in Afghanistan, but much remains to be done. It is only through the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of remarkable Canadians like Corporal Jean-François Drouin and Major Yannick Pépin that Afghanistan will once again flourish and stand on its own.

Let us never forget these brave men, whose self-sacrifice served to make life better for others.

Condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the latest fallen, and here's hoping for a quick and full recovery for the wounded.
Words fail me.  Condolences to those left behind.
Prayers out to the families of Maj Pepin and Cpl Drouin. Rest in Peace.