Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada:
“Words cannot express the pain and sadness we feel upon learning of the deaths of Corporal Christian Bobbitt and Sapper Matthieu Allard, both from 5e Régiment du génie de combat serving as members of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment....
“They gave the very best of themselves and their lives knowing that their efforts would help to improve the lives of thousands of women, men and children whose greatest desire is to live in a peaceful, safe country, where democracy and justice prevail.
“Their courage and self-sacrifice honour them.” (here)
Task Force Kandahar Commander Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance said the soldiers’ work, seeking out and destroying IEDs and the factories where they are made, protected the lives of their fellow troops and Afghan citizens.
“As the Task Force Commander, I am extremely proud of their personal and professional dedication,” he said. “In the eyes of the weak and defenceless, they were a godsend. To me, they were fine soldiers and like all of my troops, the best people I know.
“Today, the entire Task Force – both military and civilian – is mourning our fallen comrades.”
( OEF page here)
Of Cpl Bobbitt, his aunt said (in part):
“He was always very calm, he was not one to whine if he had a problem," Ms. Bobbitt said.
The soldier joined the military out of school at 19. In his hometown of Sept-Îles, Que., he was remembered as a young man full of life who was devoted to family.
He is survived by his spouse, Felicia, his brother, Jonathan, and his parents, Liane and Yvan.
An avid video-gamer and hockey player, Cpl. Bobbitt was young but a leader among his fellow soldiers. He earned a promotion just before his arrival in Afghanistan.
Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance, the Canadian task force commander, said Cpl. Bobbitt – known as Bob to his friends – was known for his technical expertise and competitive spirit.
“He was a hard worker, and a great competitor," Brig.-Gen. Vance said. “He excelled in all that he did, whether it was at Guitar Hero, or on a rink."
Cpl. Bobbitt was also known for his good humour and teasing jokes.
“He was a very happy guy who made fun of everybody, so he was kind of the clown of the section, but a really good man," said Major Yannick Pepin, commanding officer of 51 Field Engineer Squadron.
“He made disagreeable situations agreeable." (here)
These two young heroes - best friends - worked to clear mines and booby traps in Afghanistan.
Sapper Matthieu Allard is one of the younger soldiers to die in Afghanistan.
Sapper Allard grew up in Val d'Or, a mine and forestry town in Northern Quebec, where his father works in the mining industry.
His family, which includes two younger brothers and his mother, Christine, supported his decision to join the army on March 29, 2007, after he had completed school, his aunt, Therèse Allard, said.
"It's what he loved to do, it's what he wanted to do," she said.
"He consulted his father, his grandmother, but he's the one who decided. He made his choice, nobody pushed him."...
Sapper Allard was a shy young man, who nonetheless always volunteered to serve, Task Force Kandahar Commander, Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance, said.
The commander said the soldier was very proud of his military team and took the worst situations in stride, raising his colleagues' spirits in the process.
Major Yannick Pépin, Commander of the 51st Field Engineer Squadron, described Sapper Allard as a team leader - someone who seemed never to stop working.
Sapper Allard and Cpl. Bobbitt were inseparable, he said....(here)
These two fallen heroes arrived home to Canada today.
Rest in peace. You will always be remembered and honoured.