A roadside bomb killed three Canadian soldiers on patrol Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, bringing Canada's total number of fallen soldiers in the Afghan mission to 60.
Pte. Joel Vincent Wiebe, 22, was one of three soldiers killed in a roadside bomb on Wednesday in Afghanistan.
(Pte. Tina Miller/DND/Canadian Press) The soldiers were in a small all-terrain vehicle, transporting supplies through bumpy fields, when they hit the hidden bomb near the town of Sperwan Ghar, southwest of Kandahar.
The Canadian Defence Department identified the soldiers as:
Cpl. Stephen Frederick Bouzane, 26.
Pte. Joel Vincent Wiebe, 22.
Sgt. Christos Karigiannis, (no age provided).
The three were from the Edmonton-based Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, which has lost 27 soldiers since Canada's mission in Afghanistan began in 2002.
Sgt. Christos Karigiannis was part of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
(Pte. Tina Miller/DND) "Our hearts are with the [families] of the fallen as they grieve and learn of the death of their loved ones," Brig.-Gen. Tim Grant said in Afghanistan.
"Although we have lost great friends, great young Canadians, we are not deterred from our mission," Grant added. "They're focused, they're dedicated, they know what they're doing."
Bouzane dreamed of being a soldier
Details about the soldiers began to emerge late Wednesday.
Bouzane was born in the southern Newfoundland town of Little Bay, but moved as a toddler to Scarborough, Ont., which is now part of Toronto.
Cpl. Stephen Frederick Bouzane, 26, was born in Newfoundland and grew up in Ontario.
(CFB Edmonton/Garrison Imaging/Canadian Press) His father Fred said he could tell right away that something was amiss on Wednesday.
"I went out on the bridge for a smoke and saw the three army guys walking up toward the bridge and knew then it wasn't going to be good news," he said from his home in St. Alban's, N.L. "I was proud of him on the day he was born and proud of him all his life."
Bouzane, a quiet man, wanted to be soldier ever since he was young, his parents said. In Grade 7, he wrote a journal about wanting to ride in tanks like his uncle, who was in the army. In high school he signed up for the army several times, but didn't follow through.
His mother Maureen recalled when Bouzane told her five years ago he had finally joined.
"He phoned and said, 'I'm going to Quebec tomorrow. I just joined the Forces,"' she said through tears. "He finally did it. He did something he always wanted to."
Bouzane's father said his son will be buried in Little Bay because he told him before he went to Afghanistan that if anything happened, he wanted to be buried in the town where he was born.
No details were released Wednesday about Karigiannis, while only a few details emerged about Wiebe, who was engaged to an Edmonton woman. His fiancée Anna Thede said the family isn't ready to make any public comments until Friday.
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