Edmonton-based troops ship out to Afghanistan

Marc bence/for metro edmonton


Cpl. Rob Gould and girlfriend Lara Slusarcyk say goodbye at Edmonton Garrison yesterday. Rob joined about 140 Edmonton-based soldiers about to embark on a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Cpl. Jason Moldovan sat down with his pregnant wife and her godparents yesterday laughing and giggling inside the Edmonton Garrison’s Lecture Training Facility.

Moments later, the 27-year-old soldier hugged his family for a final time before beginning his six-month mission in Afghanistan where 78 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have died since 2002.

“I have to say, I am not going to lie, I have some emotions about this,” said Moldovan.

“I am excited, but there is also fear, but it’s normal. We’re all human beings right. I’m not going to hide my fear.”

Moldovan is one out of 140 Edmonton-based soldiers bound for Kandahar yesterday who will be part of Task Force

1-08 that includes 2,500 soldiers.

The Edmonton Garrison has been sending 1,200 of those troops to Afghanistan in phases since their sendoff ceremony last month.

Moldovan, who grew up in Montreal and is now a resident of the garrison, will endure his first long mission in the war-ravaged country and will miss his baby’s birth in August.

“For me, this is hard because this is his first time,” said his wife, 26-year-old Cristina Moldovan, who was holding back tears.

“We don’t know what’s there, we don’t know what to expect there, but I think I will be fine once he calls me for the first time.

“But I will be strong and if I’m strong, he’ll be strong there.”

While Moldovan is away, Cristina will be connected to a support network at the garrison, which includes coffee meetings with other wives. The support network will also provide the family with a video conference to give Moldovan the chance to see his baby for the first time.


  • This is the third time since 2002 a large contingent of Edmonton-based troops has gone to Afghanistan. The last big Edmonton exodus was in 2006.

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