Friday, April 18, 2014

Christmas wishes being sent to local reservist in Afghanistan

St. Francis School here will be holding a live Skype with Master Bombardier Nathan Cousineau tomorrow (Dec. 12) at noon from the school gym.
Anyone wishing to attend the event, and support him while he continues to serve in Afghanistan over the Christmas season, is welcome to come out and send Christmas wishes.

The 25-year-old Fort Frances native, a member of 116th Independent Field Battery Royal Canadian Artillery in Kenora Army Reserve, deployed to Afghanistan in September as part of Op Attention Roto 3–Mission Closure Team.
Since joining the Army Reserve in 2005 when he was in Grade 11 at Fort Frances High School, Cousineau has continued to live in Fort Frances, train with the 116th Independent Field Battery in Kenora, and graduate Cum Laude from Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Science (emphasis in education and social studies).
His parents, Ernie and Janine Cousineau, as well as one of two brothers and several other family members, still live in Fort Frances.
“Of course we have concerns with him being there,” said Ernie Cousineau.
“But we see it as a stepping stone to gain more experience, not only with the Canadian Armed Forces but also in his life, in general.”
“He has always had a positive attitude and has been eager to make something of himself,” echoed Janine Cousineau.
“Even at a young age, he would find himself jobs throughout the community and was always busy,” she added.
“Aside from my current tour in Afghanistan, the high point of my career with the Canadian Army was my duty as a detachment second-in-command in Op Palaci Roto 2 during the 2011 avalanche season at Roger’s Pass [in] Glacier National Park in British Columbia,” Cousineau reflected in a phone interview.
“We had over 100 feet of snow that season,” he recalled.
David Black, a Grade 7 teacher at St. Francis, is co-ordinating tomorrow’s event with Cousineau’s home unit in Kenora.
As Cousineau’s former teacher and now fellow colleague, Black said he is “very honoured and pleased to help out with this.”
“The students in the school are very excited, and have been working hard to make it a memorable event for Nathan and the soldiers serving with him in Afghanistan,” he noted.
Upon his return from Afghanistan, Cousineau plans to continue his work as a casual teacher with the Northwest Catholic District School Board and train with his Army Reserve unit in Kenora.
Cousineau also volunteers with the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service, and is a member of both the Fort Frances Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29 and the Knights of Columbus.
Editor’s noted: Lynn Danielson is a Master Bombardier with the 116th Independent Field Battery Royal Canadian Artillery in Kenora.
She also is an Army Reserve recruiter.

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