Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

March 20, 2009 18:43 ET

Message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, on the Deaths of...

...Master Corporal Scott Francis Vernelli, Corporal Tyler Crooks, Trooper Jack Bouthillier, and Trooper Corey Joseph Hayes

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 20, 2009) -

My husband Jean-Daniel Lafond and I are sorry and deeply saddened to learn that four members of the Canadian Forces and the Afghan interpreter accompanying them were killed, and eight of their comrades in arms wounded under tragic circumstances in Afghanistan. Master Corporal Scott Francis Vernelli, member of the 3rd Battalion, and Corporal Tyler Crooks, member of the 1st Battalion, were from The Royal Canadian Regiment. Troopers Jack Bouthillier and Corey Joseph Hayes were both from The Royal Canadian Dragoons.

The violence that our troops face in Afghanistan is staggering and a cruel reminder of the risks they face during the perilous operations of this demanding and dangerous mission. We recognize the immense courage of those women and men who have chosen to serve in the Forces and who are willing to make any sacrifice to bring security to a population in danger. For this, they have our utmost respect.

Our sincerest condolences go out to the families and friends who are mourning the loss of their loved ones, and I offer my deepest sympathies to their comrades in arms. Our thoughts are also with the wounded soldiers, to whom we wish a speedy recovery, and to their families and friends, who are concerned for their well-being.

To all members of the Canadian Forces who are continuing the mission in Afghanistan by giving the very best of themselves, we would like to express our profound gratitude. Know that you are not alone in your grief and remain uppermost in our thoughts.

Michaelle Jean

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