Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

September 07, 2009 08:19 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Deaths of Major Yannick Pepin and Corporal Jean-Francois Drouin

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 7, 2009) - The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Gateway, issued the following statement today on the deaths of two Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan:

"The Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence mourn the deaths of Major Yannick Pepin and Corporal Jean-Francois Drouin, who made the ultimate sacrifice today in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their loved ones in this time of grief, and to the five other Canadian Forces members injured in this attack.

Major Pepin and Corporal Drouin died when an improvised explosive device detonated near the vehicle in which they were travelling in the Dand District, southwest of Kandahar.

Their tragic passing illustrates some of the risks that the selfless men and women of the Canadian Forces face every day in carrying out their duties.

Canada is in Afghanistan as part of a UN-sanctioned mission to help build a stable, democratic, and self-sufficient society. Progress toward this goal cannot be made in an unstable security environment. Our Canadian Forces members are playing a key role in this NATO-led mission, helping improve the security situation in order to create the conditions necessary for Afghans to live normal lives.

Major Pepin and Corporal Drouin were helping to bring back hope to a population that has seen much hardship and turmoil.

This is a tragic loss for the Canadian Forces and all of Canada.

Major Yannick Pepin and Corporal Jean-Francois Drouin were members of 5e Regiment du genie de combat, based at CFB Valcartier.

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