Trooper Larry Rudd (DND picture)
Statement By The Minister Of National Defence On The Death Of Trooper Larry John Zuidema Rudd
May 24, 2010
OTTAWA - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the death of a Canadian soldier:
"I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and fellow soldiers of Trooper Larry John Zuidema Rudd of the Royal Canadian Dragoons who died while conducting operations in Afghanistan. Trooper Rudd was killed by an improvised explosive device during a routine security operation....
This is a tragic loss for the Canadian Forces and all of Canada. Canadians will be forever grateful for Trooper Rudd’s sacrifice. He will not be forgotten.”(Yes, emphasis mine)
Trooper Larry Rudd, 26, died at 12:30 p.m. local time after an IED detonated near the Panjwaii district village of Salavat, about 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar city, while he was on a combat resupply patrol.
``Trooper Rudd will be remembered by the soldiers that served alongside him as a professional soldier who never complained regardless of the hardship that he and his crew endured,'' Col. Simon Hetherington, deputy commander of Task Force Kandahar, told a news conference at Kandahar Airfield.
``He was the type of man that soldiers of all ranks looked to for friendship. Larry was a go-to soldier who always put the needs of his family, his friends and his fellow soldiers before those of his own.''
Among his military comrades with the Petawawa, Ont.-based Royal Canadian Dragoons, Rudd stood taller than most _ both in physicality and maturity.
``He was big, strong and fit, and despite his intimidating size, he was considered the Gentle Giant within his squadron,'' Hetherington said.
``Larry was mature well beyond his rank and experience, and demonstrated enormous potential within the armoured corps and certainly within his regiment.''
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement offering condolences to Rudd's loved ones.
``We are deeply saddened by your loss. Please be reassured by knowing that the country stands behind you in these most trying times,'' Harper said.
``The commitment and sacrifice demonstrated by the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces is a great source of pride to all Canadians. We are eternally grateful for the sacrifices made by Trooper Rudd. He will not be forgotten.'' (here)
More from Hetherington:
Rudd was "a go-to soldier who always put the needs of his family, friends and fellow soldiers before his own," said Col. Simon Hetherington, Deputy Commander of Task Force Kandahar.
Rudd never complained, regardless of the hardships he and his crew endured, and was mature well beyond his rank and experience, demonstrating enormous potential, Hetherington added.
"He was dynamic and motivated; generous and outgoing," Hetherington said. (CBC here)
The Globe and Mail tells us more about this "Gentle Giant" lived:
More than a decade before the Afghan war that took his life, Larry John Zuidema Rudd would sit at the back of his Grade 8 class, his desk full of dog treats.
Trooper Rudd was remembered by close friends and colleagues as a “giant angel” who took the underdog’s side and dreamed of being a policeman.
Becky Salvatore first met Trooper Rudd in Grade 1 at Brantford’s Graham Bell Elementary and then went to Brantford Collegiate Institute with him. Unusually tall even in Grade 1, Mr. Rudd was a perennial joker.
“He always made everybody laugh. He was a great guy,” Ms. Salvatore said. “If you were having a bad day or whatever, he would always make you smile.”
Ms. Salvatore said that in Grade 8, Trooper Rudd “would always have candy in his desk. He even used to bring dog treats and he'd eat them and we thought that was kind of weird.”
"He was trying to get us to try 'em, but we wouldn't," she said.
Trooper Rudd worked as a bouncer for several years at Brando’s, a bar on Brantford’s Market Street where he earned a reputation as someone who would rush to the aid of strangers.
“He was always there for the underdog – always,” said a server at the bar, who declined to give her name. “He was a doorman here, and if there was any trouble anywhere, even nothing to do with the bar … he would be there to help.”
While the CFB Petawawa-based soldier was in training, the server said, he would come by Brando’s to help out. His mother threw him a party at Brando’s before he left for Afghanistan.
Siobhan Michele Kelly, who worked with Trooper Rudd at Brantford's charity casino from 2002-04, said the porter with the sarcastic sense if humour was "stoked" about enlisting two years ago.
"He made my job fun every day, and was a real gentleman," she told the Globe and Mail. "He was one of the most amazing and genuine people I have ever met."
RIP Trooper Rudd. Rest in Peace.