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 And yet another...

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Mousey
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PostSubject: And yet another...   Tue 25 May 2010, 6:45 am

BRANTFORD, Ont. - Family and friends of Trooper Larry John Zuidema Rudd were in shock Monday as they learned that the Brantford-born soldier had become the 146th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since 2002.

Trooper Rudd's family gathered at the home of his mother, Helen Zuidema, shortly after learning the grim news from the Department of National Defence.

A call by QMI Agency to the home found a family in grief, and a man identifying himself as Larry's uncle could only say, "It's pretty hard here.

"Maybe tomorrow would be a better time to call."

Trooper Rudd, 26, died around 12:30 p.m., Kandahar time, when an improvised explosive device detonated during a routine security operation 20 km southwest of Kandahar City, the Department of National Defence announced midday Monday.

"He told me he was driving a big-wig, or some expression like that, so he would be fine," friend Cathy Pokonzie said, her voice tailing off.


Pokonzie was remembering the solider, who until recently was well-known as a bouncer at Brando's on Market Street, during a gathering of friends at a local home.

"We loved Larry."

DND officials said Rudd was a member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons and serving with the 1st Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment, based in Petawawa, Ont.

But before he made friends overseas, the 6-foot-6 soldier endeared himself to many locally in his job as a bouncer at Brando's.

"He was a great guy," said Garnet Morden, a friend from Brando's who was at the gathering. "He was a close friend of ours; we used to hang around before he joined the army.

"He was funny and he loved life, very outgoing. He'd do anything for you. He took care of his friends."

Added Jessi Allman, "He was very protective. He'd befriend anyone in any situation."

Over at Brando's, bartender Nina Delsignore was downcast as she pulled drafts for customers.

"It's been a bad day," she said. "It's just indescribable."

Delsignore said Brando's owners, Brandon Black and Lyn Graham, had a deployment party for Rudd when he was sent overseas and will honour his memory with another, more sombre, event.

"They are planning a memorial," she said, "and we're having a really big get-together for the family."

At one of the tables, customer Jody Waters was sipping a beer as he remembered a man he knew not only as a reliable co-worker but a close friend.

"I worked with this guy ... we were bouncers together," Waters said. "I had my life in his hands and I never worried because he cared about everyone but himself.

"The guy had a heart bigger than you, me, anyone in this place put together -- too big for such a young man. He would give his life for you and me -- even someone he didn't know -- just to save their life.

"One guy was not enough, 100 guys were not enough -- one million guys were what this guy wanted to save in his life.

"This is the worst day of my life. Losing my friend Larry is the worst day of my life."

Trooper Rudd was in the news in 2003 when an injury he received while working as a bouncer at Seductions lounge ended in a jail term the following year for the assailant, Shawn Laforme.

Laforme was sentenced to 90 days for assault causing bodily harm.

"We were working a Christmas party about 10 years ago at Seductions Brantford," Waters recalled. "Larry said, 'I'll work; you guys drink.' Well, someone threw a bumper at Larry and threw a bottle at Larry and severed half his ear.

"He went to the hospital and came back an hour later and finished his shift.

"He cared how everyone else felt but him."

The news of Trooper Rudd's death came while many Canadians were still enjoying the last hours of a long holiday weekend and follows the deaths in Afghanistan of Oakville's Col. Geoff Parker, Barrie's Pte. Kevin McKay and Petty Officer Second Class Craig Blake of Simcoe, Ont.

"All members of Task Force Kandahar are thinking of the family and friends of the fallen soldier during this difficult time. We will not forget this soldier's sacrifice as we continue to bring security and hope to the people of Kandahar Province," stated a news release from DND.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper extended his sympathies to Trooper Rudd's loved ones.

"We are deeply saddened by your loss," Harper said in a statement released by his office.

"Please be reassured by knowing that the country stands behind you in these most trying times.

"We are eternally grateful for the sacrifices made by Trooper Rudd. He will not be forgotten."

National Defence Minister Peter MacKay "extended his "heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and fellow soldiers of Trooper Larry John Zuidema Rudd," MacKay stated.

"This is a tragic loss for the Canadian Forces and all of Canada. Canadians will be forever grateful for Trooper Rudd's sacrifice


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yorkiemom
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PostSubject: Re: And yet another...   Tue 25 May 2010, 8:13 am

It never gets any easier

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Snitty
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PostSubject: Re: And yet another...   Tue 25 May 2010, 8:31 am

R.I.P
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kbullet
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PostSubject: Re: And yet another...   Tue 25 May 2010, 9:40 am

RIP
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BigBrownEyes29
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PostSubject: Re: And yet another...   Tue 25 May 2010, 10:39 am

RIP
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PostSubject: Re: And yet another...   Tue 25 May 2010, 6:04 pm

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Smoosh
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PostSubject: Re: And yet another...   Tue 25 May 2010, 6:07 pm

Just read this in our local paper a half hour ago. So sad.
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HoodieCrow
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PostSubject: Re: And yet another...   Tue 25 May 2010, 10:13 pm

Rest well... salute
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