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In July I sent a mass email out to the registered members of The Ranger Station to let them know of the 'Banner Across North America' event and the introduction of the Ranger Militia. This is only the second time I can recall using the mass email feature of the forum.

I had received some emails back thanking me for the information, but was shocked when I received an email back from the email address of forum member AMiller. The email stated that it was Andrews mother, and that Andrew was killed in action on 06/24/2010.

I can't tell you how bad it feels to send an email to a member, and have his mother email you back and tell you he was killed serving his country only a month earlier.

Andrew Miller (AMiller) was a Canadian medic serving with 2 Field Ambulance that was based in Petawawa, Ontario. He was serving in Afghanistan with the Task Force Kandahar Health Services Unit. He was killed by an IED on 06/24/2010 outside of Kandahar Afghanistan while responding to a report of a mine found in the doorway of a home.

Killed in action was Private Andrew Miller from 2 Field Ambulance, based in Petawawa, Ontario. He was serving in Afghanistan with the Task Force Kandahar Health Services Unit.

I think about how my concerns at the time were how we were going to move a banner from one end of the country to the other, or building a new online home for the Ranger Militia, servicing my Ranger, and helping Vanessa work on hers. The harsh reality is that while we sit at home working on our projects or surfing the net, people, including members of this forum, are fighting everyday to preserve our freedoms to do that. Sometimes those people pay the ultimate sacrifice. 

This is also a reminder that it's not just the U.S. that is losing soldiers. Forum Moderator Will Wills had a comment worth sharing:

People don't realize the commitment that Canada has put into defending world freedom. In Afghanistan Canada has the third highest deaths which puts them higher in population sacrifice to both the UK and the US. ~ Will Wills

Will found the news article relating to Andrews death which I have posted below:

An improvised explosive device struck an armoured vehicle in Afghanistan, killing two Canadian medics, the military said Saturday.

Master Cpl. Kristal Giesebrecht, 34, and Pvt. Andrew Miller, 21, were responding to a report that a mine was found in the doorway of a home when an IED detonated at about 11 a.m., killing them both about 20 km southwest of Kandahar.

A third soldier is in stable condition in a hospital at the Kandahar Airfield Base.

“My heartfelt sympathies are with the families and loved ones of these brave soldiers, who should be proud of the selfless sacrifice made by Master Corporal Kristal Giesebrecht and Private Andrew Miller,” said Minister of National Defense Peter McKay in a statement.

“Master Corporal Kristal Giesebrecht and Private Andrew Miller gave their lives helping to create the secure conditions needed for reconstruction efforts and continued progress in Afghanistan.”

The governor general echoes those sentiments.

“We recognize the valour, heroism, courage and undeniable generosity of heart of this man and woman,” said Michaelle Jean in a statement.

Both soldiers were members of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.

Miller was born in Sudbury, Ont., and was based at CFB Petawawa. This was his first overseas mission.

Giesebrecht, the third Canadian woman to be killed in Afghanistan, was from Wallaceburg, Ont., and was also based at Petawawa.

Capt. Nicola Goddard of the 1st Regiment of the Royal Canadian Horse

Artillery was the first Canadian woman killed in Afghanista, in a grenade attack on May 17, 2006. Trooper Karine Blais of Les Mechins was killed by a roadside bomb blast last April.

The tragic news brings the death count of Canadians in Afghanistan to 150 soldiers and four civilians.

“Canada's participation in this United Nations-mandated, NATO-led mission is a true reflection of our values. We will not deter from helping those in need. Afghans are re-building their country and their communities, living conditions are improving,” said McKay.

This comes less than a week after Sgt. James MacNeil of Glace Bay, N.S., was killed on June 21.

Story from Toronto Sun

Andrew was only 21 years old when he was killed in action. His life was just getting started. 

Today, everyone who reads this will in one way or another enjoy the freedoms that have been provided by and maintained by a soldier. I hope that everyone who reads this will take a moment to honor Andrew Miller and the others who have taken a stand to protect our freedoms. We should also take a moment and thank those that are currently serving to ensure we retain those freedoms.

Myself and the staff here at TheRangerStation.com would like to express our condolence to Andrews family.

~ Jim Oaks