Tuesday, June 22, 2010

R.I.P. Sgt James Macneil

My deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this brave young man. His sacrifice for freedom will not be forgotten.

Macneil, of Glace Bay, N.S., was "an extremely proud Cape Bretoner," Vance said in a statement. "He couldn't say no to a social gathering and was inevitably the life of the party."

A man "with a big heart," Jimmy, as he was known, was regarded as "the epitome of excellence and professionalism," Vance said.

Macneil was a 10-year veteran of the Canadian Forces and was on his fourth deployment. He was based in Petawawa, Ont., and serving with the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.

In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper thanked Macneil for his service and said: "We are all saddened by this loss."

His loss was felt at home in Nova Scotia, as well.

"My heart goes out to his family, and it certainly goes out to his comrades that he served with over there," said Canadian Legion member Sheldon Macneil, who is related to the soldier.

"It's really bad when you hear it on the news and it's British Columbia and Ontario," he said. "But when it hits home, it just tears the heart out of you."

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