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Boneca 18 Jul 06

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 4 months ago

 

Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.

 

Cpl. Anthony Boneca, 1985-2006

Selected News Coverage, 18 Jul 06

 

The final farewell

Sarah Elizabeth Brown, Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay, 18 Jul 06

 

There was standing room only Monday in St. Patrick’s Cathedral

as family, friends, fellow soldiers, politicians, police,

firefighters, paramedics and the general public turned out to

bid farewell to a Thunder Bay hero, Cpl. Anthony Boneca.

 

After all the uniforms filed past Cpl. Anthony Boneca’s casket

Monday, the last to salute the fallen soldier was the 21-year-old’s

father.

 

Leaning on his only child’s casket with both hands after he and

his wife Shirley each placed single red roses on the lid,

Antonio Boneca wept.

 

His wife’s hand under his elbow, the dignified father with the

thick Portuguese accent of his homeland straightened and gave a

short, sharp salute.

 

The young woman who would have been their daughter-in-law,

19-year-old Megan DeCorte, was the second last of hundreds to pay

their respects to Boneca at Mountain View Cemetery.

 

Placing an ice-white rose next to the two red blossoms, DeCorte

patted the casket several times before the Lake Superior Scottish

Regiment’s padre, Capt. Neil Otke, led her back to her seat.

 

The very last was the youngest.

 

A little boy from Boneca’s large extended family, dressed all

in black and sporting the same yellow lapel ribbon worn by his

relatives, carried a cross half his size — made of yellow

roses — and placed it on the ground next to the casket.

 

Minutes before, eight Lake Sups, members of Boneca’s Lake Superior

Scottish Regiment, had folded the Canadian flag that covered his

casket since it left Kandahar.

 

Lt.-Col. Brent Faulkner, the LSSR commander, and chief warrant

officer George Romick, LSSR’s regimental sergeant major, presented

the folded flag and Boneca’s two service medals — one for each of

his two overseas tours — to his parents.

 

The Memorial Cross, previously called the Silver Cross, was given

to Shirley Boneca during a private ceremony Sunday.

 

Soldiers from other units posted at the Thunder Bay Garrison,

along with two sailors from HMCS Griffon, gave the 21-gun salute

in three cracking volleys with C7 rifles.

 

A bugler from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Band played the Last Post,

and again played Reveille after a moment of silence.

 

At least 200 uniforms — soldiers, sailors, air force personnel

and police of all stripes — stood at attention during the graveside

service.

 

Military personnel came from all corners of the country, many

paying their own way to come pay their respects to the soldier

who died in a fire fight with Taliban near Kandahar on July 9.

 

The parents of Cpl. Anthony Boneca, Shirley and Antonio Boneca,

lead their family out of the church following Monday's funeral

mass in memory of their son.

 

Four hours earlier, mourners had filled St. Patrick’s Cathedral

to overflowing.

 

Uniforms filled 12 pews, including one row of generals and colonels.

 

Chests bristling with medals, veterans sat behind several rows of

young soldiers in the LSSR’s kilts of Mac Gillivray tartan and the

Canadian army’s working uniform of green camouflage.

 

Across the aisle was the young soldier’s large family, all sporting

yellow ribbons and flowers to match.

 

Members of the public filled the cathedral’s back half, stood along

the back wall and sides, spilled down the front steps and into the

basement, where speakers were set up so everyone could hear the

funeral mass.

 

More stopped outside the cathedral, stood across the street, leaned

over the nearby parkade’s railings and spilled down side streets.

 

At least 1,500 people laid a Thunder Bay son to rest Monday.

 

After the cathedral bells slowly tolled at 11 a.m., eight LSSR

pallbearers carried their friend’s casket up the centre aisle to

the strains of a lone piper.

 

Following Boneca’s family into the church were four more young

soldiers, carrying the fallen soldier’s white dress belt, Glengarry

dress cap, his two service medals and a wreath.

 

Ignoring a second pew set aside for them, the 12 Lake Sups squeezed

in together, shoulder to shoulder, a solid wall of green coats

and red kilts.

 

During one of three tributes to Boneca, Cpl. Jon O’Connor recalled

when a younger Boneca first joined the reserves.

 

“We couldn’t believe how much energy he had,” said O’Connor.

 

The new soldier was so excited, asked so many questions and so

clearly wanted to learn, “which was probably what made him a great

soldier,” said O’Connor.

 

He never gave up, O’Connor said.

 

“A soldier never really dies,” he said. “They live on in the

fighting spirit in the rest of us.”

 

Remembered for his boundless energy and loyalty to family and

friends, Boneca was called a “true Canadian hero.”

 

The main celebrant, Rev. Gerry McDougall of St. Peter’s Church,

recalled Boneca as “a man who lived his life fully,” a man of

faith and a man who delighted in helping others.

 

“He was a bright light that burned bright and the world will miss

him.”

 

Boneca’s was one of the first confirmations Most Rev. Fred Colli

celebrated after being named bishop of the Thunder Bay Diocese.

 

In confirmation, he said, God is asked to strengthen in young

people the gifts of wisdom, understanding, right judgment and

courage.

 

“Anthony Boneca lived those gifts, especially courage, in a very

real way,” he said. “We thank God for allowing him to be an

example for all of us.”

 

As the pallbearers, all wearing black arm bands, carried Boneca’s

casket back down the centre aisle, Antonio Boneca turned to watch

his son leave.

 

While pallbearers placed the casket into a waiting hearse, Pipes

and Drums Thunder Bay played Amazing Grace and Flowers of the

Forest.

 

Standing unobtrusively beside the hearse was the soldier who’d

accompanied Boneca’s remains 10,000 kilometres from Kandahar,

still wearing desert camouflage.

 

The pallbearers, infantry soldiers beneath those Highland dress

uniforms, rode to their buddy’s graveside in an open army truck.

=====================================================================

 

Soldiers remember comrade

Timmins Daily Press (ON)

Tue 18 Jul 2006

Page: A6

Section: Canada

Byline:

Source: CP

 

A grieving father sobbed loudly and slumped over his only

son's casket as the remains of Cpl. Anthony Boneca were laid to

rest Monday at a cemetery in his hometown.

 

Antonio Boneca was composed during the preceding mass, where his

21-year-old son was remembered by shaken comrades as a "man of

courage" and by his anguished bride-to-be as an "irreplaceable"

love.

 

Affectionately called "T-Bone" by his fellow soldiers, Boneca had

planned to return to Thunder Bay to be with his family and

girlfriend Megan De Corte, to whom he'd given a promise ring during

a gondola ride in Venice earlier this year.

 

At Monday's ceremony, De Corte recalled the couple's three-week

vacation in Italy, while Boneca was on leave last May.

 

"We spent a lot of the time planning out our future together,

going back to school, marriage, children and travel," the 19-year-

old told mourners.

 

"Tony, my sweet, sweet Tony, I hope you know how much I love you

and how proud I was to be a part of your life," said De Corte, whose

family lived behind Boneca's.

 

"You are my love, my life, my soulmate and my destiny -

irreplaceable, undeniable and unforgettable. I love you and I can't

wait until the day we're together again."

 

Boneca, a reservist with the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, was

the 17th Canadian soldier, and the second from Thunder Bay, to die

in Afghanistan.

 

He was just three weeks away from the end of his latest tour of

duty when he was killed on July 9 during a sweep of the Taliban

region.

 

Master Cpl. Craig Loverin burst into tears as he described how

Boneca returned home from his first tour of duty in Afghanistan.

 

He said Boneca was proud to serve his country and couldn't wait to

go back.

 

"After completing that tour, he was a man ... a man of courage,

who, for as long as I live, will never be forgotten," Loverin told

some 1,000 mourners who gathered inside St. Patrick's Cathedral to

pay their final respects.

 

Loverin, choked with tears, stepped away from the podium, and then

added, "his heroic experience will carry on past my lifetime."

 

Boneca joined the Armed Forces immediately following high school,

where he proudly played football.

 

Many of the mourners were schoolmates who fondly recalled Boneca

as a "fun guy to be around."

 

"He was one of a kind," said childhood friend John Janiec, 21,

outside the church, where hundreds of other mourners had gathered.

 

Following the service, Boneca's flag-draped casket was carried out

of the cathedral by nine members of the regiment in their full

Highland dress uniforms with MacGillivray tartan kilts.

 

The family then went to the cemetery, where the elder Boneca

clutched his anguished wife, Shirley, and held hands with De Corte

as soldiers fired a 21-gun salute and some 200 military personel

and police officers approached the casket to pin a red poppy on a

wreath.

 

Boneca's parents were given the flag that accompanied their son's

coffin from Afghanistan, his balmoral, and the service medals from

his two tours overseas.

 

When news of his death first broke, his loved ones painted

conflicting pictures of Boneca's time with the military.

 

De Corte and his best friend, Dylan Bulloch, said the infantry

soldier was deeply unhappy in Afghanistan and did not feel prepared

for the dangerous mission.

 

Boneca's father, meanwhile, portrayed a young soldier who "loved

being in the army" and was aware of the situation he was facing.

 

The truth came out at the funeral, said Brig.-Gen. Tim Grant,

commander of Land Forces West Area, following the service.

=====================================================================

 

Myth on peacekeeping persists

The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon)

Tue 18 Jul 2006

Page: A6

Section: Forum

Byline: Dan Gardner

Source: The Ottawa Citizen

 

As retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis Mac Kenzie and other officers noted

many times last week, soldiers bitch. Always have, always will.

 

The fact that a soldier killed in combat recently had complained to

family and friends about the tough, grinding work he was doing in

Afghanistan is essentially meaningless. It is terribly unfair, both

to the military and to the memory of the soldier, to read anything

into it.

 

But one comment that didn't draw much attention is worth examining

more closely. Dylan Bulloch, best friend of slain soldier Cpl.

Anthony Boneca, told the Citizen that Boneca "was telling me no one

wants to be there, no one knows exactly why they're there and why is

Canada in a war zone when all we do is protect and peacekeep."

 

If Bulloch's recollection is accurate, it is troubling. Cpl. Boneca

may have been a reservist, but he was still an experienced soldier

and when even an experienced soldier thinks it inconceivable that he

would have to fight a war because "all we do is protect and

peacekeep," the military has a problem.

 

Canadians love to see ourselves as the world's peacekeepers. Our

soldiers wear blue berets, not helmets. They carry binoculars

instead of rifles. They don't take lives -- they save them. War and

killing the enemy is for Americans. Peace and protecting the weak is

the Canadian way.

 

Peacekeeping is as central to how most Canadians see their country

as universal health care, multiculturalism and hockey. It can be

seen on the back of the $10 bill. It can be heard in the speeches of

politicians lauding our military's "traditional role."

 

It is also the source of fears that the combat mission in

Afghanistan is a radical departure from Canadian values. "(Prime

Minister Stephen) Harper is starting to ditch the peacekeeping

vocation that has been the military's primary role abroad since

Lester B. Pearson," wrote Jose Legault in the Montreal Gazette.

Commentators from the Toronto Star's Haroon Siddiqui to union leader

Sid Ryan have said the same. So have countless letter writers in

newspapers across the country.

 

They are all asking why Canadian soldiers are now in a war zone

when "all we do is protect and peacekeep."

 

It's a question born of myth.

 

Peacekeeping is not the "primary role" of Canada's military. It

never has been. The military's primary role is, and always has been,

fighting wars.

 

"Peacekeeping was always a sideline activity for the Canadian Armed

Forces," wrote Gen. MacKenzie in the Toronto Star. "At the height of

our reputation as the UN's lead nation in peacekeeping during the

'60s, '70s and '80s, we had at any one time around 1,500 soldiers

deployed under the UN flag. At the same time, we had up to 10,000

troops, some armed with nuclear weapons, stationed with NATO on the

central front in Germany and France prepared to take on any

aggression by the Soviet Union."

 

Senator Romeo Dallaire, the retired general whose tragic experience

in Rwanda made him Canada's most famous peacekeeper, recently made

the same point in the Citizen. "Canada's soldiers are first and

foremost specialists in combat," he wrote.

 

A background paper on the history of Canadian peacekeeping prepared

for the Somalia Inquiry put Canada's UN missions squarely into

perspective: "After Lester Pearson received the Nobel Prize in 1957,

peacekeeping began receiving enthusiastic public and political

support, although it remained a low priority within the Department

of National Defence...

 

"All defence white papers and intervening policy statements rank

the maintenance of a combat force capable of protecting Canada's

sovereignty as the primary function of the Canadian Forces, with

peacekeeping as an ancillary function."

 

And in a very real sense, even that "ancillary function" is

finished.

 

In Pearson's formulation, peacekeeping meant putting neutral blue

berets between combatants, usually states, who had agreed to a

truce. It was a rare scenario during the Cold War, and since then it

has all but vanished. In its place are far more complex situations,

most involving civil conflict, that require "peacekeepers" to be

heavily armed and prepared, in some circumstances, to take sides and

fight.

 

Experts debate what these missions should be called, but they agree

that the term "peacekeeping" is misleading and should be used with

care -- or better, retired.

 

Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. Peacekeeping's hold on

the Canadian imagination is too strong for mere facts. Everything

I've written here has been said a thousand times before by analysts

and generals and others far more qualified than me. And yet, the

peacekeeping myth is flourishing.

 

And now, it seems, the peacekeeping myth is believed even by some

of the soldiers whose primary mission is, as it always has been,

fighting wars.

 

This column by Gardner is reprinted from the Ottawa Citizen.

=====================================================================

 

Fallen Canadian soldier remembered as hero

The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon)

Tue 18 Jul 2006

Page: B6

Section: National

Byline: Lee Greenberg

Dateline: THUNDER BAY, Ont.

Source: CanWest News Service

 

THUNDER BAY, Ont. -- Cpl. Tony Boneca was remembered Monday

yesterday as an outgoing, loyal soldier and a "true Canadian hero"

by two members of his regiment as the 21-year-old reservist was

buried with full military honours in his northwestern Ontario

hometown of Thunder Bay.

 

"He believed in what he was fighting for and he never gave up

fighting for a country he loved until the very end," said Cpl. John

O'Connor, a fellow member of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment.

"That is someone who can truly be called a hero."

 

About 1,000 people packed St. Patrick's Cathedral in the city's

downtown and hundreds more gathered outside the church to pay their

respects to the popular former high school quarterback.

 

"You would have to meet him to truly understand his style of

enthusiasm," said Master Cpl. Craig Loverin. "The guy was truly

hyper, over-excited at times and extremely opinionated. But he would

always carry out a command without hesitation."

 

Boneca's 19-year-old girlfriend, Megan De Corte, told the

congregation that on a three-week trip to Italy and Greece in May,

the two made plans to get married.

 

That vacation, which fell in the middle of Boneca's second tour of

duty in Afghanistan, was the last time they saw each other. He was

killed in a gunfight with Taliban insurgents on July 9, three weeks

before he was due to return home.

 

"We spent a lot of time planning out our future together -- going

back to school, marriage, children and travel," De Corte said,

crying. "Tony, my sweet, sweet Tony, I hope you know how much I love

you and how proud I was to be a part of your life . . . I love you

and I can't wait until the day we're together again."

 

Antonio and Shirley Boneca, who, according to friends, are

overwhelmed with the grief of losing their only son, sat stoically

through much of the service.

 

At the interment, however, Antonio Boneca, a retired bricklayer,

wept uncontrollably as he gave his son one final salute. Shirley

Boneca held on to her husband with both arms and rested her head on

his shoulder. The couple was presented with the Canadian flag that

draped their son's coffin, as well as his service medals, formal

regimental belt and headdress.

 

The slain soldier then received a 21-gun salute.

 

His mother was presented with a Memorial Cross, also known as the

Silver Cross, on Sunday night. The award is given to all mothers and

widows of fallen Canadian military personnel.

 

"Their lives will never be the same," family friend Miles Stijepic

said Sunday. "They feel their heart is going to explode."

 

The Bonecas took the unusual step of allowing media to attend the

graveside ceremony, a tacit acknowledgement that many in Canada

shared their grief, according to military spokesperson Lieut. Amber

Bineau.

 

They requested that members of the family not speak with the media,

however.

 

In the wake of Boneca's death, some close to him expressed the

soldier's fears and doubts about his latest tour of duty in

Afghanistan, where the reservist was placed alongside regular forces

troops in frontline combat positions. The friends, notably De Corte's

father, Larry De Corte, and Boneca's uncle, William Babe, questioned

his training and claimed he was disillusioned with the army.

 

But Brig. Gen. Tim Grant, the highest-ranking military official to

attend Monday's funeral, disagreed, saying the statements were made

at a very stressful time.

 

"Cpl. Boneca was as prepared as anyone for the challenges that

faced him in theatre. And for five months he faced them bravely," he

told reporters after the service.

 

"I've talked to the deputy commanding officer of his unit in

Afghanistan. He was one of their strong soldiers. He was a guy that

they relied on to do everything. He was smart, he was capable. He

had been doing this kind of work for five months and it was a tragic

accident that he was killed now."

 

Boneca was the ninth Canadian soldier to be killed since troops

shifted their attention from Kabul to the Taliban stronghold of

Kandahar in February. He is the 17th Canadian military casualty

since combat troops first entered that country in 2002.

 

Loverin, who served with Boneca during his first tour in the region

in 2004, also subtly disagreed with the portrayals of his friend as

disillusioned.

 

"He was so proud to serve his country," he said. "He couldn't wait

to go back (to Afghanistan)."

 

(Ottawa Citizen)

=====================================================================

 

Boneca proud to serve: friend

The Western Star(Corner Brook)

Tue 18 Jul 2006

Page: 8

Section: National

Byline: Angela Pacienza

Source: CP

 

A fellow soldier collapsed into tears Monday as he described

how his comrade Cpl. Anthony Boneca came back from his first tour

of duty in Afghanistan as a man of courage.

 

Master Cpl. Craig Loverin said Boneca, who was killed last week

during a firefight near Kandahar, was proud to serve his country

and couldn't wait to go back.

 

"After completing that tour, he was a man ... a man of courage,

who, for as long as I live, will never be forgotten," Lovelin told

about 1,000 mourners gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral to pay

their final respects to the 21-year-old reservist.

 

Loverin, choked with tears, stepped away from the podium, and then

added, "his heroic experience will carry on past my lifetime."

 

Boneca was just three weeks away from the end of his latest tour

of duty when he was killed on July 9 during a sweep of the Taliban

region. Boneca, who fellow soldiers affectionately called "T-Bone,"

had planned to return to his hometown to be with his family and

girlfriend, Megan De Corte, to whom he'd given a promise ring some

time ago.

 

At Monday's ceremony, De Corte remembered the couple's three-week

vacation in Rome in May, while Boneca was on leave.

 

"We spent a lot of the time planning out our future together -

going back to school, marriage, children and travel," De Corte told

the mourners. "Tony, my sweet, sweet Tony, I hope you know how much

I love you and how proud I was to be a part of your life," De Corte

said.

 

Boneca, a reservist with the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, was

the 17th Canadian soldier and the second from Thunder Bay to die in

Afghanistan.

 

Following the service, hundreds of people lined the church steps

to watch as his flag-draped casket was carried out of the cathedral

by nine members of the regiment.

 

Boneca's mother was to receive a silver cross, a medal given to

every mother of a soldier killed in action, at a private ceremony

later on Monday.

 

When news of his death broke, his loved ones painted conflicting

pictures of Boneca's time with the military.

 

De Corte and his best friend, Dylan Bulloch, said the infantry

soldier was deeply unhappy in Afghanistan and did not feel prepared

for the dangerous mission.

 

Boneca's father, meanwhile, portrayed a young soldier who "loved

being in the army" and was aware of the situation he was facing.

 

And Cpl. Jon O'Connor told mourners that when Boneca first joined

the regiment, O'Connor said senior officers couldn't believe the

young man's energy.

 

"Tony was always excited," said O'Connor. "He asked a lot of

questions and was eager to learn, which can explain why he was such

a good soldier."

 

O'Connor added that the men and women who fight wars live on

through those whose freedom they defend.

 

"A soldier never really dies," said O'Connor. "They live on in the

fighting spirit of the rest of us.

=====================================================================

 

Corporal killed in Afghanistan 'a true Canadian hero'

Times Colonist (Victoria)

Tue 18 Jul 2006

Page: A6

Section: News

Byline: Lee Greenberg

Dateline: THUNDER BAY, Ont.

Source: CanWest News Service

 

THUNDER BAY, Ont. -- Cpl. Tony Boneca was remembered Monday

as an outgoing, loyal soldier and a "true Canadian hero" by two

members of his regiment as the 21-year-old reservist was buried with

full military honours in his northwestern Ontario home town of

Thunder Bay.

 

"He believed in what he was fighting for and he never gave up

fighting for a country he loved until the very end," said Cpl. John

O'Connor, a fellow member of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment.

"That is someone who can truly be called a hero."

 

About 1,000 people packed St. Patrick's Cathedral and hundreds more

gathered outside the downtown church to pay their respects to the

popular former high school quarterback.

 

"You would have to meet him to truly understand his style of

enthusiasm," said Master Cpl. Craig Loverin. "The guy was truly

hyper, over-excited at times and extremely opinionated. But he would

always carry out a command without hesitation."

 

Boneca's 19-year-old girlfriend, Megan De Corte, told the

congregation that on a three-week trip to Italy and Greece in May,

the two made plans to get married.

 

That vacation, which fell in the middle of Boneca's second tour of

duty in Afghanistan, was the last time they saw each other. He was

killed in a gunfight with Taliban insurgents on July 9, three weeks

before he was due to return home.

 

"We spent a lot of time planning out our future together -- going

back to school, marriage, children and travel," De Corte said,

crying. "Tony, my sweet sweet Tony, I hope you know how much I love

you and how proud I was to be a part of your life ... I love you and

I can't wait until the day we're together again."

 

Antonio and Shirley Boneca, who, according to friends, are

overwhelmed with the grief of losing their only son, sat stoically

through much of the service.

 

At the interment, however, Antonio Boneca, a retired bricklayer,

wept uncontrollably as he gave his son one final salute. Shirley

Boneca held on to her husband with both arms and rested her head on

his shoulder. The couple was presented with the Canadian flag that

draped their son's coffin, as well as his service medals, formal

regimental belt and headdress.

 

The slain soldier then received a 21-gun salute.

 

His mother was presented with a Memorial Cross, also known as the

Silver Cross, on Sunday night. The award is given to all mothers and

widows of fallen Canadian servicemen.

 

"Their lives will never be the same," family friend Miles Stijepic

said Sunday. "They feel their heart is going to explode."

 

The Bonecas took the unusual step of allowing media to the

graveside ceremony, a tacit acknowledgment that many in Canada

shared their grief, according to military spokeswoman Lieut. Amber

Bineau.

====================================================================

 

Let's honour these brave public servants

The Vancouver Province

Tue 18 Jul 2006

Page: A18

Section: Editorial

Source: The Province

 

Public servants come in for a lot of criticism these days

from citizens concerned about heavy taxation.

 

But those who perform the often-dangerous work that is essential to

keeping Canada a civilized, law-abiding country deserve our support

and applause.

 

Some, like RCMP constables Robin Cameron and Marc Bourdages, both

shot while chasing an assault suspect in Saskatchewan last week,

have had to make the ultimate sacrifice at a young age.

 

Cameron, 29, was a single mom with an 11-year-old daughter. And

Bourdages, just 26, leaves behind a nine-month-old son. We honour

them and their grieving families.

 

We also honour Cpl. Anthony Boneca, killed last week during a

firefight in Kandahar, and his fellow

 

Canadian soldiers serving bravely in Afghanistan.

 

These public servants do our country proud.

=====================================================================

 

Young Canadian soldier honoured

CTV News and Current Affairs

Mon 17 Jul 2006

Time: 23:00:00 ET

Network: CTV

 

TOM CLARK: Well there were tears and there were tributes for a Canadian soldier killed in combat in the country. Hundreds of family and friends gathered in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to remember Corporal Anthony Boneca. The twenty-one year old reservist

died July 9th during a firefight with the Taliban. He was just three weeks away from the end of his latest tour of duty. Boneca is the 17th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan.

=====================================================================

 

THUNDER BAY, Ontario -- Family and friends gathered in Thunder Bay, Ontario today to remember Corporal Anthony Boneca.

Broadcast News

Mon 17 Jul 2006

Section: General and national news

 

THUNDER BAY, Ontario -- Family and friends gathered in Thunder

Bay, Ontario today to remember Corporal Anthony Boneca.

 

The 21-year-old reservist was killed during a firefight last week

in Afghanistan.

 

Master Corporal Craig Loverin collapsed into tears as he

described how his comrade came back from his first tour of duty in

Afghanistan as a man of courage.

 

He says Boneca was proud to serve his country and couldn't wait

to go back.

 

Boneca was just three weeks away from the end of his latest tour

of duty when he was killed on July 9th during a sweep of the Taliban

region.

 

Boneca's girlfriend, Megan De Corte, told mourners that during the

couple's three-week vacation in Rome in May, they'd spent their time

planning out their future together -- going back to school,

marriage, children and travel.

 

Boneca, a reservist with the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, was

the 17th Canadian soldier and the second from Thunder Bay to die in

Afghanistan.

 

(CP)

 

mcw

Length: 162 words

=====================================================================

 

Reservists ready for deployment

Sudbury Star (ON)

Tue 18 Jul 2006

Page: A3

Section: Greater Sudbury

Byline: Rob O'Flanagan

Source:

 

Remember these names in your prayers: Lt. William Lucia,

Cpl. Spencer Curry, Cpl. Heather Brown, Cpl. Joseph Paolini, Pte.

William Kerr and Pte. Tyler Goulais.

 

They are all soldiers out of the 2nd Battalion, The Irish Regiment

of Canada in Sudbury, and they are all enjoying some downtime

before deployment to one of the most dangerous countries in the

world. They realize just how dangerous the situation in Afghanistan

is, according to an official with the Irish, but they volunteered

for the assignment just the same.

 

"Right now, they are all on a disembarkation leave - a leave given

to them prior to going over on an operational tour like this, to be

with their families and take some time to relax before going

overseas," said Master Warrant Officer Brian McKenelley.

 

Two of the soldiers have already left for Afghanistan, while the

others will leave by Aug. 3. A number of other Sudbury soldiers

have already served in Afghanistan and returned home.

 

"These individuals are between 20 and 30 years of age, and the

majority are in their mid-20s," he added. "They've been in the

reserves for quite some time now. These soldiers have been trained

by the battle group out of CFB Petawawa."

 

The reservists have received three or more months of training from

the battle group and they have been found fit and ready for active

duty in Afghanistan, McKenelley said. They have received a "full

spectrum" of operational training - much of it combat related.

 

"One of the soldiers will de deployed as a driver, I'm told," said

McKenelley. "They are going to be in the combat situation. They are

going to be on the frontlines.

 

"Some of the jobs will be with what is called the quick reaction

force, as drivers and in combat. They know it is dangerous and it

is strictly volunteer for the reservists. They know exactly what

they are getting into."

 

There are roughly 2,300 Canadian soldiers based in Kandahar and

they will be stationed there, fighting the mounting Taliban threat,

until at least February 2009.

 

Over the weekend, Canadian soldiers joined the largest coalition

effort to date to root out hundreds of suspected Taliban fighters,

focusing on a key insurgent stronghold in southern Afghanistan.

 

The operation is the largest to date in Operation Mountain Thrust

and involves about 5,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops.

 

The aim is to attack about 400 Taliban guerrillas believed to be

operating in the Sangin district of Helmand province, west of

Kandahar. About 600 Canadian soldiers are assigned to the operation

and they've been fighting in 50 C heat in recent months.

 

Many are exhausted and are counting the days until they can go

home, according to firsthand reports.

 

A total of 18 Canadians - 17 soldiers and one diplomat - have been

killed in Afghanistan since 2002. The latest to be killed, Cpl.

Anthony Joseph Boneca, 21, of Thunder Bay, was buried Monday in his

home town. A reservist with the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment

based in Thunder Bay, Boneca was killed in a firefight near the

village of Pashmol west of Kandahar City.

 

McKenelley said the morale of the local soldiers is high as they

prepare for active duty in Afghanistan.

 

"I think they feel deep down inside that they are doing something

for that country - that they are helping out," he said. "To help

out a foreign country like this you have to have the sense that, if

we don't go over and help them, do they bring the bad stuff over to

this country?

 

"I would suspect that is what is going through their minds."

 

With files from Canadian Press

=====================================================================

 

In the heat of battle

The Telegram (St. John's)

Sat 15 Jul 2006

Page: A4

Section: Metro/Provincial News

Byline: GREG KNOTT

Source:

 

As bullets flew by and American helicopters fired on the

insurgents just ahead, Corp. Keith Mooney lay on the ground from

multiple gun shot wounds.

 

Cold and scared, his first thoughts were of his godson Ben, back

in Newfoundland and his wife Shannon in Edmonton.

 

"When I got hit, the first thing that went through my head was Ben

is never going to meet his godfather if I die here today," Mooney

told The Telegram via e-mail this week.

 

"That's when I said to myself that there's no way I am going to

die here today. He was my motivation to get through this and plus,

I didn't want my wife to be a widow at such a young age."

 

On Sunday, the 29-year-old from St. Mary's was involved in a

firefight with insurgents in the Panjwei district in Afghanistan.

During the same battle another soldier was injured, and Cpl. Tony

Boneca of Thunder Bay, Ont., became the 17th Canadian soldier

killed in combat operations in Afghanistan.

 

Mooney's company made three different runs toward the enemy in the

battle. On the third run, he describes hearing helicopters pass

overhead and then a secondary explosion.

 

"At this point it felt like I was hit in the leg with a sledge

hammer."

 

The officer asked was everyone alright and it was at that point

that Mooney realized he was bleeding from his right leg.

 

"They called the medic forward and he started to treat me," Mooney

explained.

 

"I asked him if it was bad and not to lie to me."

 

Pte. Louis assured Mooney he was going to be fine, and to be

grateful that his privates were still intact.

 

Earlier in the day, Louis had been the medic who had worked on

Boneca. Mooney was in awe of the manner Louis displayed throughout

the tense day.

 

"Louis was very professional even after the loss of Tony Boneca.

He was the medic that worked on Tony. That medic went above and

beyond, in my opinion."

 

Mooney said he knew Boneca as well as he knew most of the soldiers

in the company. They would harass each other good naturedly. Boneca

would poke fun at Mooney for being a Newfoundlander and Mooney

would return with cracks about Boneca's Portuguese heritage.

 

"It was hard to see him go. I was there when they hauled him out

of the compound. I looked for a pulse and then informed the OC that

he did not have one. Then the soldiers started CPR."

 

Soldier pronounced dead

 

Later that day, Boneca was pronounced dead back at the Kandahar

Airforce Base.

 

Mooney, who has seen action on a couple of occasions, described

combat as something that can only be understood by those who have

experienced it.

 

"I will tell you right now that it's not for everyone. It sorts

the men from the boys. It gets very confusing at times, but you

have to keep your head on tight and focus so you can accomplish the

mission," Mooney said.

 

"You will be scared the first time you experience it but the more

you get into it, the more confidence you will have."

 

With the rest of his company back out in the field, Mooney has

been left to recover. He is recovering well and has been out of the

hospital for two days, and walking with the aid of a cane.

 

But Mooney is not content sitting around and is waiting for the

opportunity to get back and fight alongside his friends and

comrades.

 

"I honestly believe in the mission and I want to get back out

there," Mooney added.

 

"The problem with Afghanistan is its full of insurgents who are

worried about one thing, and that is how to get the dope harvested

so they can get money to fight against us. I will say this, that in

a few years we will see change in Afghanistan. It will just take

time."

 

Mooney will return to Edmonton for some rest in late August before

heading back to Afghanistan. In mid-September, he plans to take a

trip to Las Vegas with some army friends and a cousin living in

Ontario. He hopes to return home to Newfoundland for a trip in late

September.

 

gknott@thetelegram.com

=====================================================================

 

[- A final salute... corporal Anthony Boneca is remembered

as a good man and a good soldier. - There was deep sadness today,

but also fond memories as corporal Anthony Boneca was laid]

CBC News and Current Affairs

Mon 17 Jul 2006

Time: 22:00 EDT

Network: CBC Television - The National

 

PETER MANSBRIDGE (HOST):

 

- A final salute... corporal Anthony Boneca is remembered as a

good man and a good soldier. -

 

There was deep sadness today, but also fond memories as corporal

Anthony Boneca was laid to rest in Thunder Bay, his hometown. The

21-year-old soldier died July 9th during combat in Afghanistan.

Alex Freedman reports on the farewell honours.

 

ALEX FREEDMAN (REPORTER):

 

Thousands of people from across Thunder Bay, every branch of the

Canadian Armed Forces, police, fire services, family and friends

all at this cathedral to remember corporal Anthony Boneca.

 

MEGAN De Corte (CORPORAL Boneca'S GIRLFRIEND):

 

Tony was the most amazing guy. He treated me like a princess and

easily fit in with my family, who loved him, and he loved them

back. My parents constantly reminded me that I would never find a

better man.

 

REVEREND G. MCDOUGALL:

 

I wish that there was something I could say or do that would end

your grief immediately.

 

ALEX FREEDMAN (REPORTER):

 

Colleagues describe their friend as a dedicated soldier, a man on

his way up the ranks. During the ceremony, the emotion was too much

to bear.

 

CRAIG LOVERIN (MASTER CORPORAL, CANADIAN FORCES):

 

He was a man... a man of courage. For as long as I live, he will

never be forgotten. The experience will carry on my... and last my

lifetime...

 

ALEX FREEDMAN (REPORTER):

 

Many of these soldiers say they've seen too many of these funerals

in too short a time.

 

TIM GRANT (BRIGADIER-GENERAL; COMMANDER, LAND FORCE WESTERN AREA):

 

It doesn't make the pain any easier, and it doesn't make the pain

go away when someone is lost, but it's an important mission, and

the families have been very supportive of the decisions taken by

the soldiers.

 

ALEX FREEDMAN (REPORTER):

 

After the service, corporal Boneca is buried, an emotional

interment, his family recognized with full military honours, capped

off with a 21-gun salute. Alex Freedman, CBC News, Thunder Bay.

====================================================================

 

Remembering Corporal Anthony Boneca

CanWest Global Transcripts

Mon 17 Jul 2006

Time: 17:30:00 ET

Network: GLOBAL

 

TARA NELSON: Welcome back. More than a thousand friends,

family members and fellow soldiers filling a Thunder Bay church

today to remember fallen Canadian army Corporal Anthony Boneca. His

casket draped in the Canadian flag and saluted by the many people

lining the entrance to the chapel. He is the 17th Canadian soldier

to die in Afghanistan. When he was killed last week, some family

members said the young soldier was depressed and unprepared for

deployment. But that's not how he was remembered today.

 

MASTER CORPORAL CRAIG LOVELIN: After completing that tour, he was a

man, a man of courage. For as long as I live, he will never be

forgotten. His (inaudible) experience will carry on for the rest of

my lifetime.

 

MEGAN De Corte (Anthony Bonecas Fiance): Tony, my sweet, sweet,

Tony, I hope you know how much I love you and how proud I was to be

a part of your life. I love you and I can't wait until the day we're

together again.

=====================================================================

 

'Loyal' soldier buried: Memorial service draws crowds in

Thunder Bay

The Windsor Star

Tue 18 Jul 2006

Page: B8

Section: News

Byline: Lee Greenberg

Dateline: THUNDER BAY, Ont.

Source: CanWest News Service

 

THUNDER BAY, Ont. - Cpl. Anthony Boneca was remembered Monday

as an outgoing, loyal soldier and a "true Canadian hero" by two

members of his regiment as the 21-year-old reservist was buried with

full military honours in his northwestern Ontario home town of

Thunder Bay.

 

"He believed in what he was fighting for and he never gave up

fighting for a country he loved until the very end," said Cpl. John

O'Connor, a fellow member of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment.

"That is someone who can truly be called a hero."

 

About 1,000 people packed St. Patrick's Cathedral in the city's

downtown and hundreds more gathered outside the church to pay their

respects to the popular former high school quarterback.

 

"You would have to meet him to truly understand his style of

enthusiasm," said Master Cpl. Craig Loverin. "The guy was truly

hyper, over-excited at times and extremely opinionated. But he would

always carry out a command without hesitation."

 

Boneca's 19-year-old girlfriend, Megan De Corte, told the

congregation that on a three-week trip to Italy and Greece in May,

the two had made plans to get married.

 

That was the last time they saw each other. He was killed in a

gunfight with Taliban insurgents on July 9, three weeks before he

was due to return home.

 

"We spent a lot of time planning out our future together -- going

back to school, marriage, children and travel," De Corte said,

crying. "Tony, my sweet sweet Tony, I hope you know how much I love

you and how proud I was to be a part of your life ... I love you and

I can't wait until the day we're together again."

 

Antonio and Shirley Boneca, who, according to friends, are

overwhelmed with the grief of losing their only son, sat stoically

through much of the service.

 

At the interment, however, Antonio Boneca, a retired bricklayer,

wept uncontrollably as he gave his son one final salute. Shirley

Boneca held on to her husband with both arms and rested her head on

his shoulder. The couple was presented with the Canadian flag that

draped their son's coffin, as well as his service medals, formal

regimental belt and headdress.

 

The slain soldier then received a 21-gun salute.

 

His mother was presented with a Memorial Cross, also known as the

Silver Cross, on Sunday night. The award is given to all mothers and

widows of fallen Canadian servicemen.

 

"Their lives will never be the same," family friend Miles Stijepic

said Sunday. "They feel their heart is going to explode."

 

The Bonecas took the unusual step of allowing media to the

graveside ceremony, a tacit acknowledgement that many in Canada

shared their grief, according to military spokeswoman Lieut. Amber

Bineau.

 

In the wake of Boneca's death, some close to him expressed the

soldier's fears and doubts about his latest tour of duty in

Afghanistan, where the reservist was placed alongside regular forces

troops in frontline combat positions.

=====================================================================

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