It’s hard to believe that a man who was so well respected and beloved by his country would suddenly find himself in such a precarious position.
On Saturday, the Canadian Forces veteran who served in Afghanistan will no longer be able to return to his family in Halifax, where he was stationed, as the Canadian government says his remains have been sent to the Afghan government.
The military says that after the family’s requests for a burial in the city of Kandahar were rejected by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, the remains were transported to Kabul, where they were handed over to the Kandahar Provincial Police.
According to a news release from the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP is handling the matter as a criminal matter and that no further details will be released until the investigation is complete.
Jeremy O’Donnell, a veteran who had a post in Afghanistan from March 2012 until July 2017, died Saturday in Kabul after a vehicle carrying him and another soldier collided with a truck.
The pair was travelling in a convoy, and the driver was not injured.
Joke on them.
I don’t think they had any idea what they were doing, and it was only a matter of time before they were killed, his family said in a statement.
It was also reported that O’Neill’s family did not request a burial, but rather a ceremony to honor their loss.
The ceremony was planned in August, but was canceled in July when the government refused to release the remains.
It is unknown what, if anything, happened to O’Niell’s body, which was initially sent to Kandahar, Afghanistan, but he was later moved to Ottawa and died at a local hospital.
The news of his death has left his wife and two children mourning.
O’Reilly’s mother, Nancy O’Connell, said that they will be “very sad” for a long time.
“We were very happy for him,” she said in an interview with CBC News.
“But we will be very sad.”
He was a man of character, she said, who never let anyone tell him what to do.
“He was very kind to everybody,” she added.
“But he was a very strong man.
I know that in the back of his mind, he had this image that he could always get through anything.”
The O’Ns are also grieving for their other son, Ryan, who was deployed with O’Neil in Afghanistan.
He will be buried at a nearby cemetery in Ottawa.
“This is a very hard thing to talk about,” O’Neal told CBC News on Saturday.
“There’s no words to express it.
It’s just devastating.”
O’Neil’s widow, Karen, said the news of the death was “disheartening” and that she hoped her husband would receive the honour of a proper burial in his hometown of Toronto.
“I don’t know how he would have wanted it,” she told CBC.