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Cape Breton Post - - NATIONAL -

CFB TREN­TON, Ont. (CP) — Sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers wept openly Mon­day as the body of the lat­est Cana­dian sol­dier to die in Afghanistan was taken from a Globe­mas­ter air­craft to the lament of bag pipes and car­ried to a wait­ing hearse.

“My son, my son!” Cpl. Joshua Caleb Baker’s griev­ing mother said as she reached out to­ward his flag-cov­ered cas­ket.

Baker, 24, died last Fri­day dur­ing a train­ing ac­ci­dent in which four other sol­diers were in­jured.

Baker, who was based in Ed­mon­ton, was serv­ing with the Kandahar Pro­vin­cial Re­con­struc­tion Team in Afghanistan.

About 200 peo­ple lined the fence at CFB Tren­ton to pay their last re­spects to Canada’s 140th sol­dier to be killed in Afghanistan.

Rick Fore­man was one of those stand­ing along High­way 2, known as Repa­tri­a­tion Row, lo­cated south of the base.

Fore­man, who was hold­ing a Cana­dian flag, said at­tend­ing the cer­e­mony is the least he can do for Baker who paid the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice.

“It’s hard when you think of the fam­i­lies that are over there suf­fer­ing and are go­ing to be putting the roses on the cas­kets,” he said.

Fore­man said it’s heart­warm­ing to see the kind of sup­port the con­voy re­ceives as it drives the High­way of He­roes to Toronto.

Peo­ple pack over­passes on the route, to catch a glimpse of the mo­tor­cade. He said many salute the troops by wear­ing red and wav­ing Cana­dian flags.

“It’s mean­ing­ful to the fam­i­lies as they pass by,” he said. “I’ve of­ten seen fam­i­lies pass by with the win­dows rolled down and tears in their eyes and just say­ing thank you. That makes it all worth­while.”

Stephen Far­rell has been to at least 85 repa­tri­a­tion cer­e­monies.

He said seven years ago peo­ple were al­lowed to go right up to the ter­mi­nal, to watch the air­craft car­ry­ing the body taxi in slowly.

He’s con­cerned that the new construction pop­ping up as the base ex­pands could threaten the van­tage point of sup­port­ers stand­ing out­side the fence.

“ We have to come out here,” he said. “It doesn’t mat­ter what the weather is or the time of year. It has to be done. It has to be re­peated un­for­tu­nately.”

The Cana­dian Press

Fam­ily mem­bers grieve be­side the hearse car­ry­ing the re­mains of Cpl. Joshua Caleb Baker of the Loyal Ed­mon­ton Reg­i­ment dur­ing a repa­tri­a­tion cer­e­mony at CFB Tren­ton, Ont., Mon­day. Baker was killed and four other sol­diers were in­jured as a re­sult of a train­ing ac­ci­dent at a range north­east of Kandahar city Fri­day.

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