Medal guide­lines re­done for Pen­tic­ton sol­dier

Penticton Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By JAMIE HAM­MOND

TSpe­cial to The Her­ald he re­silient peo­ple of Afghanistan have long used un­der­ground aqueducts known as a karez or qanat to move wa­ter long dis­tances and pro­vide nour­ish­ment for their crops and fam­i­lies. Like the ar­ter­ies in our bod­ies, a karez pro­tects the flu­ids needed for life there.

Seen from the air, they look like the re­sult of a bomb­ing run, a se­ries of holes in the ground in a straight line. Up close, the deep holes link a stream up to 30 me­tres be­low the sur­face.

Dur­ing the op­er­a­tions in Afghanistan, there were al­ways ru­mours, and some ev­i­dence, of karezes be­ing used to store weapons and am­mu­ni­tion or to move in­sur­gents. There were how­ever, prac­ti­cal lim­i­ta­tions to us­ing them for any­thing but wa­ter trans­porta­tion due to their depth and the steep­ness of their walls as we dis­cov­ered af­ter June 7, 2008.

Capt. Jonathan Sny­der, a 26-year-old mem­ber of Princess Pa­tri­cia's Cana­dian Light In­fantry from Pen­tic­ton and a Uni­ver­sity of Vic­to­ria grad, was on his sec­ond tour of Afghanistan. He had al­ready dis­tin­guished him­self so well on his first tour in 2006 that I tried in vain to get him off his sec­ond tour, so he could join the spe­cial op­er­a­tions com­mand.

He was later rec­og­nized for his brav­ery on that sec­ond tour with a Star of Mil­i­tary Val­our, Canada's sec­ond-high­est award for brav­ery, for his lead­er­ship of a team as­signed to an Afghan com­pany that was am­bushed by Tal­iban in­sur­gents.

The ci­ta­tion reads that Sny­der seized con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion, and that he and four other Cana­di­ans, "with lit­tle chance of sur­vival ... ex­posed them­selves to great peril and re­tal­i­ated against the enemy…. Be­cause of their ded­i­ca­tion, lead­er­ship and val­our, many Afghan and Cana­dian lives were saved."

A few nights af­ter that in­ci­dent, hum­ble and ded­i­cated, he was back on pa­trol. Car­ry­ing the com­bined weight of his hel­met, body ar­mour, tac vest, mag­a­zines, weapon, ra­dio and am­mu­ni­tion, he was pa­trolling across a con­tested area of grape fields dot­ted with karez shafts. Con­tin­ued on Page C4

THE VIMY FOUN­DA­TION/Spe­cial to The Her­ald

Wounded Cana­di­ans tak­ing cover be­hind a pill-box dur­ing the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele in Novem­ber, 1917. See more such colour­ized pho­tos in to­day’s C sec­tion.

Capt. Jonathan Sny­der

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.