Frank Gunn/canadian press
As the bodies of the two latest Canadian casualties of the war in Afghanistan were returned to their grieving families yesterday, the stage was also set for a more joyful reunion.
Only a chain-link fence separated the bereaved spouses and fatherless children from Joanne Gagne, 49, who was preparing to greet her husband later that night as he returned from his six-month stint in the war-torn country. But Gagne was painfully aware of the emotional divide.
“My husband is actually just coming back from Afghanistan tonight as well. He’s on a later flight,” she said as she stood outside the base’s fence with dozens of flag-waving men, women and children.
Gagne was among many showing their support for the soldiers and their families as the remains of Master Warrant Officer Mario Mercier, 43, of the Royal 22nd Regiment and Master Cpl. Christian Duchesne, 34, of the 5th Field Ambulance arrived by military plane.
Their families were on hand to receive the flag-draped caskets as they were gently lowered from the plane and transported to the waiting hearses one by one.