Monday, August 30, 2010

Some Gave All: Cpl. Brian Pinksen

Corporal Brian Pinksen

Mon, 30/08/2010 - 3:08pm

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A Canadian soldier who sustained serious injuries in an IED blast last week while on patrol in Afghanistan died Monday at a hospital in Germany with family members at his bedside, military officials say.

Cpl. Brian Pinksen, a reservist with 2nd Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, was wounded on a patrol in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar on Aug. 22.

Pinksen was wounded along with another soldier, whose name was not released, while patrolling near the village of Nakhonay, about 15 kilometres west of Kandahar city.

That soldier, who was serving with 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment battle group, was on foot just a few hundred metres from the gate of a nearby operating post on a route traversed daily by Canadian and Afghan soldiers.

A Department of National Defence statement said Pinksen was treated by medics at the scene, and then evacuated to the military hospital at Kandahar Airfield, then later to a military hospital at Ramstein military base in Landstuhl, Germany, where he died from his wounds.

No other details were released. A Defence Department source said Pinksen's family members were at his bedside when he died.

Military officials offered condolences to Pinksen's family.

"We will not forget Cpl. Pinksen's sacrifice as we continue to bring security and hope to the people of Kandahar province," the military said in a statement.

Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean also added her voice to the chorus of those expressing grief.

"This tragedy is a painful reminder of the risks and dangers that soldiers deployed to this turbulent region face on a daily basis," she said. "Cpl. Brian Pinksen's comrades-in-arms will continue and complete this difficult mission with the same conviction and generous spirit we have always known them to have.".. .


Heartfelt expressions of condolence quickly began to appear Monday on a Facebook dedicated to Picksen's memory, as well as on the soldier's own personal page.

"You will always be in our hearts ... a true soldier," one well-wisher wrote.

"Can't believe that another great person is gone out of our lives," wrote another. "Brian, you were an amazing guy and you will be missed. This war needs to end now!"

Pinksen did an interview in February 2009 with the Corner Brook Western Star newspaper, expressing his desire to go overseas to Afghanistan and to become a member of the army's regular force รข€” perhaps as an infantryman.

"Infantry's the backbone of the army," he said. "Without the infantry, you're nothing. I like the ground-pounding aspect, no matter where you go. No matter what the environment or the weather's like, we go." .(here)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

Canadians are grateful for Pinksen's service.

“Corporal Pinksen served Canada valiantly, and deserves the gratitude and respect of his nation,” ...

From someone who knows Cpl Pinksen very well:

Soldier 'always strong,' says childhood friend
By Laura Payton, QMI Agency

Cpl. Brian Pinksen died of battle wounds he received from an
IED explosion during a foot patrol in Afghanistan on Aug. 22.

OTTAWA – Cpl. Brian Pinksen was always strong, though he sometimes confided he was scared about going into the dangerous Panjwaii district in Afghanistan, says a childhood friend.

Pinksen, 21, was hurt in a bomb attack while on foot patrol in Afghanistan Aug. 22.

He died in hospital in Germany Monday. His mother Debbie and girlfriend Natasha were with him.

Ryan King, 19, who grew up in the same Corner Brook, N.L., neighbourhood as Pinksen, said it would be hard to go to Afghanistan without being scared, but Pinksen knew he had to keep his cool.

“He was always strong. No matter what Brian did, he was strong about it,” said King, describing his friend as a “machine” - strong and athletic.

King's father, Dave, said even though Pinksen was muscular, he was never arrogant. Dave King describes his son as a good kid trying to help people who don't seem to want peace.

“He was down to earth and he treated everybody the way people deserve to be treated,” he said. He loved what he did. There's no question about that.”(more here)

Among the members of the Second Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment heading to Afghanistan in the next rotation of troops are, from left, Cpl. Justin Eddison, Cpl. Brian Pinksen, Cpl. Adam Paul and Master Cpl. Chris Mahoney.  Submitted photo

Among the members of the Second Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment heading to Afghanistan in the next rotation of troops are, from left, Cpl. Justin Eddison, Cpl. Brian Pinksen, Cpl. Adam Paul and Master Cpl. Chris Mahoney. Submitted photo (From an article last April here)

Online condolence book

Cpl. Pinksen's family:

He was flown to the U.S. military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for treatment but died at a hospital there Monday after his heart failed.

Pinksen's mother and girlfriend flew to Germany to be with him while he received treatment.

"His family members and his brothers wrote a letter and we sent it with his mom and they read it to him when he was awake over there so we have some closure to know that he heard our feelings toward him," Pinksen's uncle, Kerry Pittman, said Monday.

Pittman said the family is devastated by the news that the young soldier didn't survive.

"I was very shocked because we felt like he may have had a chance to get home," said Pittman.

He said his nephew loved the military and was eager to go to Afghanistan.

"He had such a passion for what he was doing that this is what he wanted to do for himself and for his country. For me, he was a role model for my kids," said Pittman....(CBC here)

My prayers, with gratitude and respect, are with all who love Cpl Pinksen.

Rest in Peace, Corporal.

"In the arms of the angels, may you find some comfort there..."

ALWAYS remembered and honoured.

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