A Ryerson graduate was one of six soldiers killed in Afghanistan in the bloodiest day for Canadian armed forces since the Korean War.
Cpl. Brent Donald Poland died on April 8, 2007 with five other soldiers when their LAV III armoured vehicle drove over a large roadside bomb likely laid by the Taliban. His unit was operating west of Kandahar city, according to a national defence news release.
“In his thirties, Brent chose to follow his heart and his passion. He enlisted in the Canadian Forces where he volunteered for a career as an infantry soldier,” the statement said.
The family’s statement said that Poland wanted to bring peace to the people of Afghanistan and that he was inspired by the thought that his efforts would give Afghan women the chance to go to school and be free from oppression.
“We are so very proud of Brent’s service and willingness to endure adversity to accomplish the goals of his heart. He is in every sense our hero and he will always be,” the statement continued.
Poland was serving as a member of Hotel Company in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, based in Gagetown, N.B.
Speaking at the ramp ceremony, Chief Warrant Officer Wayne O’Toole, a 30-year veteran of the military who served as Sergeant-Major for Hotel Company, said he was impressed by Poland.
“Cpl. Poland was an intense soldier. He would be intense just digging a hole,” O’Toole said.