Fear of roadside bombs and landmines are no longer a concern for one Edmonton RCMP member after arriving back into Alberta yesterday.
An emotional reunion for Cpl. Gary Hollender and his family took place yesterday after his nine-month deployment in Afghanistan to assist in reforming the Afghan National Police (ANP) as a part of the Canadian Police Mission came to an end.
“You see small changes, you may not see them that day or that month but I was there nine months and by the end, you notice changes,” said Hollender, a 13-year member of the RCMP who works with the Leduc Traffic Unit.
A tearful Hollender, surrounded by his family, described some of the dangers the members of this mission face on a day-to-day basis.
“It is like walking down your neighbourhood street here and anything bad could happen,” he said.
The constant fear of dangers lurking around each corner became a reality for Hollender when a vehicle only a few miles ahead of him was blown up. Three Canadian Forces members were injured in that incident.
“Guys are getting hurt and guys are dying, some days you just don’t know if it will be you,” said Hollender.
But Hollender and his wife, three daughters and granddaughter can rest easy this holiday season and celebrate his safe arrival home.
“It is always magical, but it’s just extra special now that he’s home,” said Hollender’s wife, Heather.