Monday, March 27, 2006

Private Robert Costall - A man and a Patricia

Today the family friends and comrades of Private Robert Costall, 7 Platoon Charlie Company of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, are coming to terms with his death in combat during a fierce firefight with the Taliban near Kandahar. His funeral is to be held in Edmonton this week.

His one-year old son Colin will not have the opportunity to know his dad, as my sons know me. For him, his father will live on only as an aching void of lost possibilities; as a dad who never got to watch him play T-ball, or soccer, or tighten his skate laces in the dressing room before the big hockey game on a Saturday morning, or as a scout leader in his troop, or go canoeing with him on a perfect lake on a perfect summer's afternoon, or do a million other things we dads do with our sons.

Chrissy, his twenty year old wife did know him (they were childhood sweethearts) and is no doubt experiencing great pain and grief as I write this. My mother lives in Trenton where his body arrived on the weekend and told me that Chrissy looked like her heart was breaking. It likely is. My mom spent many a year as an air force wife, by the way, as my father served in the RCAF. Military families are particularly sensitive to these things. My prayers go with his family.
His regiment, the Patricias will suck it up and carry on with the mission, for that is what good regiments do and the Patricias are a very good regiment indeed.

God bless Private Costall. He died doing the good and there are worse deaths than that. May perpetual light shine upon him.


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