The Province

Fallen soldier arrives home

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The body of Petty Officer 2nd Class Craig Blake, killed Monday in Afghanista­n, was returned to Canadian soil Thursday afternoon.

The 37-year-old Simcoe, Ont., native was repatriate­d to CFB Trenton in eastern Ontario.

Gov.-Gen. Michaelle Jean and Defence Minister Peter MacKay were among the officials at the ceremony.

Blake, the first Canadian sailor and 143rd Canadian Forces member to die in Afghanista­n since 2002, was killed by a remote-detonated roadside bomb just a few hundred metres from Canada’s front-line base at Sperwan Ghar.

A diver and sonar operator with the Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic in Halifax, Blake was a married father of two.

“All his friends expressed to me the fact that Craig smiled all the time,” said military chaplain Gauthier Aum during Wednesday’s ramp ceremony at Kandahar Airfield.

“He was also a loving husband. His kids and his family were the centre of his life,” Aum said.

He volunteere­d with a boys’ club, coached the hockey team of one of his two sons, and was a competitiv­e triathlete.

 ?? — cns ?? Vince Parbery stands on the Cranberry Road Bridge as the motorcade carrying the body of Petty Officer Douglas Craig Blake passes on the Highway of Heroes in Port Hope, Ont.
— cns Vince Parbery stands on the Cranberry Road Bridge as the motorcade carrying the body of Petty Officer Douglas Craig Blake passes on the Highway of Heroes in Port Hope, Ont.

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