The tight-knit community of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia is in mourning for a local man who died during his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Sgt. James MacNeil, called “a proud Cape Bretoner” by the commander of Canadian forces in Afghanisatn, was killed by an improvised explosive device on Monday after he had dismounted from his armoured vehicle.
MacNeil’s friends and family say he was a good friend who got along with everyone – and was proud to serve his country.
Cousin Jeannie Lind tells CTV she didn’t want MacNeil to return to Afghanistan for this latest tour of duty.
“It was his fourth time over, I begged him not to go,” she said. “You can’t, he wouldn’t listen.”
She says MacNeil had just proposed to his girlfriend, and planned on coming home and buying a house in Sydney.
On the streets of Glace Bay, locals say they have concerns with Canada’s role in the war-torn country.
“I actually think it’s an outrage that the troops are still over there,” one woman said. “I believe that they should have been back long ago.”
The federal government says it’s open to a Liberal idea of keeping troops in Afghanistan after 2011, but deploy them in a safer region in non-combat roles.