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Military family mourns loss

<p>The family of an Edmonton-based soldier killed in Afghanistan is remembering their brother, son and husband as a dedicated soldier who was recently promoted and loved by his fellow troops.</p>

Capt. Matthew Dawe remembered as strong leader, ‘great soldier’



Marc Bence/For Metro Edmonton


Col. Jon Vance, Commander of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, speaks yesterday about the deaths of local soldiers in Afghanistan during a news conference in front of flags set at half-mast at Edmonton’s Griesbach Barracks.





The family of an Edmonton-based soldier killed in Afghanistan is remembering their brother, son and husband as a dedicated soldier who was recently promoted and loved by his fellow troops.





Capt. Matthew Dawe, 27, was leading a team of five soldiers and an Afghan interpreter Wednesday when a roadside bomb blew apart their armoured car, killing all seven of them instantly. Four of the casualties are soldiers based out of the Edmonton Garrison.





Dawe’s family is not speaking to the media, but they released a statement explaining that they don’t want his rank as Captain — making him one of the highest-ranking Canadian officers killed in Afghanistan — to take anything away from the loss of the others.





“Matt was a superb soldier. He was very fit and prided himself on leading from the front,” the statement reads. “He loved his soldiers very much and we know that this feeling was reciprocal.”





Dawe came from a long line of military service and leaves behind a two-year-old son, Lucas, and his wife, Tara. Three of his older brothers have enlisted in Canada’s forces — two have already served in Afghanistan — while his father is a retired lieutenant-colonel living in Kingston, Ontario.





“This is a marvelous family, a model Canadian family, that has given so much of their time and talent to Canada,” said Col. Jon Vance, commander of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. “I’m personally hurt that we’ve lost Matthew. He’s a great soldier.”





Brig.-Gen. Mark Skidmore, who commands Canada’s troops from the prairie provinces, said the recent spree of casualties in an area once considered secure is a sign of adjusted tactics by the Taliban.





“We’re up against a wily and clever enemy who are used to observing,” he said.





“They see patterns and they react to patterns.”















All six named



  • Dawe was killed leading Cpl. Cole Bartsch, Cpl. Jordan Anderson, Pte. Lane Watkins, all of 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton. Cpl. Colin Bason, a reservist from B.C., was also killed. The sixth casualty, announced yesterday, was Capt. Jefferson Francis, based in Shilo, Man.



 
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