TRURO, N.S. — Cpl. Christopher Reid believed strongly in Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan, but the soldier who was killed earlier this month near Kandahar could always be counted on to head home to Nova Scotia whenever he had the chance.
Cpl. Terry Cole, a friend of Reid’s, recalled at a funeral service Saturday how his buddy always headed home to Truro when he was on leave.
“Well, Chris, you’re home now, so it’s time for you to take it easy,” Cole told about 300 mourners at the Truro Armoury. “We’re all going to miss you, Chris. Rest in peace, buddy.”
Like many who spoke about Reid, Padre John O’Donnell said the 34-year-old was a dedicated soldier who never missed a training exercise.
“He believed in the mission because he believed in Canada and in the values for which we stand as a nation,” he said. “He wanted to be there and he wanted to be there 110 per cent.”
Angela Reid prompted a standing ovation when she spoke about her son in an unwavering voice as someone without pretention who never tried to impress.
“Chris would not like any of this fanfare,” she said, her memories of a son with an adventurous spirit and a sensitive side bringing laughter from those who knew him. “I could glorify Chris but he would not want that.”
At the end of the service, Angela Reid was presented with the maple leaf flag that draped her son’s casket after it had been ceremoniously folded. Tom Reid was given his son’s beret and five of his medals.
Reid was one of four Canadian soldiers killed in attacks near Kandahar nine days ago.
Three of the soldiers were part of a NATO patrol and killed by suspected Taliban fighters in a battle at a school near the village of Pashmul, west of Kandahar City.
Reid died in a separate incident when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb planted on a nearby highway.
Ten other members of the regiment were injured in the attacks.
All were members of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based in Edmonton.
It was the worst day of death and injury Canada has endured in Afghanistan since troops were first deployed there in 2002.
A private internment ceremony will be held for Reid later in the week.
Angela Reid has said her son raved about the LAV-3, the type of light-armoured vehicle he was in when the bomb exploded, killing him and injuring another soldier.
He thrived in Afghanistan’s harsh conditions, but loved coming home where he enjoyed driving off-road with his army buddies in a truck sporting a Nova Scotia flag.
One relative recently remembered how the young man, who was single, used to love camping with his friends and tearing down country roads in his four-by-four to the family’s woodlot.
Friends and relatives have said Reid, who was trained as a driver, never expressed reservations about the mission in Afghanistan when he was deployed there in January, even after surviving a Taliban attack in May that killed his friend Capt. Nicola Goddard.
His family also had little apprehension about him heading overseas. The Reids had lost their second child and only daughter several years earlier to a chronic illness.
Reid joined Truro’s army reserves in 1989, then moved on to the regular force in 1995. He later served across Canada and overseas, where he completed tours in Bosnia and Croatia.