I was deeply touched by Maureen Eykelenboom when she talked about how she found out her son Corporal Andrew James Eykelenboom “Boomer” was killed by a suicide bomber in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan on August 11, 2006 (CBC News). Maureen also talked about the foundation she created: Boomer’s Legacy (see also forces.gc.ca article), a foundation developed to directly aid the women and children of Afghanistan (100% of funds collected go to the cause).
The following is a video of Maureen speaking to the guests at Brett‘s garden party and many guests (including me) had tears in their eyes as they listen. Please visit Boomer’s Legacy and consider making a donation.
I was also touched by Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay‘s talk to Maureen on stage about her lost, the Boomer’s Legacy, and lead the guests for a moment of silence for Sgt. James Macneil (killed in Afghanistan in an IED explosion on Monday June 21st).
Peter mentioned that Brett had previously asked if he and his son Russell can go to Afghanistan and see how can they help, and last night, Peter announced that Brett and Russell will have a chance to go to Afghanistan.
P.S. Last night, when I got a chance, I went up to Maureen and told her that I am really sorry for her lost. And I told Peter that the moment of silence he lead was very powerful and the decisions to send sons and daughters of Canadians to war are never easy and I understand the government of Canada made those tough decisions (make those phone calls or meet the families) on behalf of all Canadians.
P.P.S. More info in this 2007 article, “Mother keeps ‘Boomer’s’ legacy alive“. Here is an excerpt,
“When Eykelenboom was establishing the foundation earlier this year, she wasn’t sure how best to distribute its funds in Afghanistan. Before he died, her son had written letters and e-mails home about the desperate needs of the Afghan children he encountered.
His mother wanted to make sure the money she raised was effectively spent, to reflect the care – not of Canada’s government — but of its ordinary soldiers.“