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Sgt. MacNeil’s relatives hope for a local highway of heroes

The family of a Glace Bay soldier killed in Afghanistan on Monday is hoping the public will help honour his final trip home.

The family of a Glace Bay soldier killed in Afghanistan on Monday is hoping the public will help honour his final trip home.

Nadine Navarole, a first cousin to the late Sgt. Jimmy MacNeil, said the family plans to provide a Highway of Heroes welcome home to Cape Breton — like the one done in Ontario after each Canadian soldier’s death.

“When Jimmy is brought home, we are asking anyone who knew him or anyone who would just like to honour him to line the highway — as a salute — from the highway outside the Sydney Airport to MacGillivray’s Funeral Home in Glace Bay,” she said.

“We are also asking anyone in uniform — including firefighters and legion members — to come out and stand proudly in their uniform, like Jimmy always did.”

James MacNeil — a member of 2 Combat Engineer Regiment based at CFB Petawawa — was killed near the village of Nakhonay in Afghanistan on Monday morning by an improvised explosive device, while on foot patrol.

MacNeil joined the military in 2000 and served 10 years. He was serving with the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment battle group and relatives say this was his fourth and final tour overseas.

“He promised us this would be his last tour,” Navarole said.

“He fell in love with a wonderful woman ... they were looking for a home, getting ready to settle down.”

MacNeil’s body will be repatriated at CFB Trenton tomorrow at 2 p.m. where the official Highway of Heroes is.

Deadly IEDs

Eight out of the 10 Canadian deaths this year were the result of an IED blast. In all, 89 of the 148 Canadian fatalities in the eight-year-old Afghan mission came about from IEDs — which include roadside bombs and some other type of explosives, according to the Department of Defence. – The Canadian Press

 
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