Families of fallen soldiers visiting Kandahar call on PM to extend mission

Several members of Canadian families whose loved ones were killed in Afghanistan are calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconsider bringing the troops home next year.

Misty Lyttle pays tribute to her brother

Misty Lyttle pays tribute to her brother

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Several members of Canadian families whose loved ones were killed in Afghanistan are calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconsider bringing the troops home next year.

The families were on hand to attend a memorial service Monday at Kandahar Airfield.

Frederick McKay, whose son Pte. Kevin McKay was killed earlier this year, says it’s wrong to think that victory is impossible in Afghanistan.

He says Canadian troops are winning small battles, like allowing children to go to school, and those victories will likely come to an end if the troop withdrawal goes ahead as planned next summer.

“Over the course of the years to come, all these small victories will make the sacrifices that are guys are making here in Afghanistan worthwhile,” McKay said.

“You can’t do that if we bring them home.”

Canadian troops are doing good work in Afghanistan and it’s too soon to pull them out, added Ann Bason, whose son Master Cpl. Colin Bason was killed in 2007.

“The military is doing a fine job and he (Harper) should reconsider about pulling out next year.”

Bason also invoked the need to educate Afghan children as the reason Canada should stay. “That is where change will occur, with the young people.”

The two families were among seven to take part in the visit to Kandahar, which is organized by the military to allow the family members of slain Canadian soldiers to see first-hand the country where their loved ones died.

The government has steadfastly refused to revisit its decision to pull the troops out next year, citing a 2008 parliamentary motion that calls a halt to Canada’s combat mission in 2011.