Positive stories untold says Brighton soldier
May 19, 2010 Bill Tremblay, Northumberland News, (Cobourg, ON)
BRIGHTON -- Master Corporal Troy Durocher knows the negatives of war.
Canada's involvement in Afghanistan cost the Brighton resident many friends. He decided to join his comrades overseas to seek revenge.
"I went over there because they killed a lot of my friends," Master Cpl. Durocher said. "That was my number one priority; retribution."
Master Cpl. Durocher, who also serves with the Brighton Fire Department, spent seven months in Alberta training for a six month deployment to Kandahar. He recently returned with a positive outlook on the accomplishments of the Canadian Forces.
"I want people to know it doesn't make you feel any better for losing friends," he said. "We need to concentrate on the good things."
Master Cpl. Durocher said the average 1,500 soldier battle group will lose 13 members while on tour - an impressive statistic compared to other military engagements.
"It's actually a positive number and it's a high number," he said. "That will be my biggest thing from now on, not focusing on the people who have been killed in the past."
He hopes civilians will start paying more attention to the successful soldiers who return from Canadian tours of duty.
"There are guys who walk right by you who were in Afghanistan, but they don't wear it on their sleeves," he said.
Master Cpl. Durocher served as a firefighter with an engineer support group during his Afghan tour.
"Basically anything that didn't fall under the nutshell of what combat engineers did, the support engineers do," he said.
Master Cpl. Durocher received a commendation for extinguishing a fire while under a mortar attack within his first two weeks of deployment.
"It kind of woke me up right away," he said.
Throughout his tour he was required to conduct controlled burns, vehicle extrication and fire prevention. His firefighting duties in Afghanistan were a far cry from his duties with the Brighton Fire Department.
"You're by yourself in your skill. You're training guys to do your job, it becomes difficult," he said. "Everything you deal with is heavier, you're wearing a lot more weight... it's tough in that regard."
During his tour, Master Cpl. Durocher said he encountered various attitudes about the Canadian Forces from Afghani natives.
"There are people who are completely accepting of what we are doing over there. We'd sit down and have tea with them," he said.
Others Afghanis would do what they could to kill foreign soldiers. Others could care less about Canada's presence.
"You can see all three of those types of people in the same town," he said.
When a Canadian soldier is killed in Afghanistan, the support along the Highway of Heroes showed Master Cpl. Durocher civilians still care about his line of work. He said the show of support provides an important moral boost to troops overseas.
"The support we have on the bridges makes it easier to know people are standing behind you when you leave," he said. "I don't want to say it's a glorified ending, but at least people are still there for you."