Corporal Karine Blais
On April 13th 2009 our Regiment grieved as Corporal Karine Blais, 21, became the second female soldier to die in combat in Afghanistan, and the first in our Regimental history.
She lost her life in the mountainous district of Shah Wali Kowt, north of Kandahar city, when the Coyote she was driving struck a deadly improvised explosive device (IED). She had only been in Kandahar for two weeks. Three of Corporal Blais’ comrades were also injured in the blast.
Corporal Blais is the second member of the 12e RBC (12e Régiment Blindé du Canada, 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment) to be killed in action in Afghanistan – Corporal Richard Renaud died on January 15th 2008.
The days and months ahead will be difficult for our Brothers In Arms, and all of us must stand together to support our Troops and Regiment.
Repose en Paix ma petite nine,
Chaque jour qui passe nous raproche
Rest in Peace my little "Nine",
Each day which passes brings us closer.
I love you,
Letter from the CO
"It is with great difficulty that I am writing this note in your memory, as it was difficult to write a simple letter to your mother and spouse. This tragic event has hit hard all the members of the squadron.
Throughout our preparation for Afghanistan, you supported so wonderfully your co-sisters and comrades of the squadron. With your sense of humour, that was so characteristic and that stood out by its veracity, you always had the people that surrounded you laugh, even in the most difficult times.
On your behalf, you can be sure that we will take care of the other members of your crew that were seriously injured at the same time.
You were frank, direct, and demonstrated leadership qualities, and never hesitated to undertake new challenges that pushed you to develop your professionalism. You were respected and loved by all members of the squadron; we will miss you terribly. I will always remember your contagious smile!
The squadron will continue its mission and fight valiantly in your honour. You will not be forgotten."
Written by Major Jean-François Cauden
Officer Commanding B Squadron FO January, 2009.