Trevor and Debbie Greene: How an attack on an Afghan village changed my life

Mar 10, 2012 – 11:57 AM ET In a new book, excerpted below, Trevor and Debbie Greene recount the day a Canadian military officer’s life was nearly ended by an ambush in an Afghan village:

KANDAHAR — On March 4, 2006, the sun was already high in the sky as I prepared for another day of shuras — meetings with local Afghan leaders, a key part of my job as a Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC) officer in the Canadian army. I picked up my notebook, making sure that the picture of my wife Debbie and daughter Grace was still neatly tucked away inside. “Miss you both and can’t wait to see you in two weeks in Hawaii,” I said as I kissed the picture and thought about my upcoming leave time. It was early in the tour, which would leave a long stretch once I returned for the rest of my rotation in Afghanistan, but I couldn’t wait to hold them both. For now, though, I had to keep my mind on the challenges ahead.

“Hey, sir, will you be needing a medic today?” Shaun Marshall, the platoon medic, said as he poked his head into my room. “I don’t think so, Shaun,” I replied.

I rechecked my rucksack and made sure I had enough food and water for the day. Equally important were the dry socks and foot powder I’d packed the previous night. I knew we would be sloshing through several small streams of icy Himalayan glacier water on patrol. Finally, I grabbed my rifle, double-checking the bolt, and headed out to meet Capt. Kevin Schamuhn, commander of the First Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. While the rest of the soldiers got their kit together, we talked about the plan for the day and the villages we would visit.

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