It’s been five-and-a-half years since Master Cpl. Byron Greff was killed serving his country.
Raised in Lacombe, Greff was the 158th and last Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Now, Arnie MacAskill, a legion member and friend of the Greff family, has started a letter writing campaign to name his mother, Candace Greff the Silver Cross Mother for the national Remembrance Day service in Ottawa.
Every year during the Remembrance Day service in Ottawa, the Royal Canadian Legion chooses a Silver Cross Mother to lay a wreath at the base of the National War Memorial. The wreath is on behalf of all mothers who lost children in the military service of their nation.
Candace said she has mixed feelings about being the Silver Cross Mother, because of the criteria of having a child killed in the line of duty.
“It’s still very difficult for us,” said Candace. “I don’t think that will ever change.
“I’m proud to be a Silver Cross Mother. I’m proud of Byron and his accomplishments, for his courage and bravery and wanting to go to Afghanistan to help others. He was always helpful, even as a child he wanted to help others.”
Byron was killed in a suicide bomb attack on Oct. 29, 2011. At the time he was crossing Kabul and heading towards his camp.
The idea to nominate Candace had been rattling around in MacAskill’s mind for some time, he just needed to convince Byron’s mother.
“She was a little bit hesitant at first, but she agreed to,” said MacAskill.
The legion supported MacAskill’s effort and a letter writing campaign got underway to nominate Candace. So far, MacAskill said he had about 30 letters he plans to deliver to Danny Martin, the Royal Canadian Legion Secretary.
“When Byron was killed in Afghanistan, it affected the whole town,” said MacAskill. “We named our hall at the legion in honour of him.
“They need a Silver Cross Mother in Ottawa, why not someone from Lacombe.”
Anyone who would like a copy of the letter can email MacAskill at firstname.lastname@example.org.