09 July 2006

Mak's Back!

Mak arrives in Canada. Photo courtesy Mak's friends

Master Bombardier Makthepharak of the Canadian Forces, who was seriously injured in the Taleban rocket attack on the coalition base in Kandahar on June 30 returned to Canada last Thursday. He spent several days in Landstuhl hospital, where Mrs. G and I looked in on him at the request of friends back home.

In my initial post about Mak, I noted that a statement from his mother showed where men like him come from.

This confirms it.

Master Bombardier Makthepharak's safe return is a happy ending for a family that has known much tragedy.

Born in Laos, Master Bombardier Makthepharak moved to Canada with his mother at age 10 after fleeing violence in their home country. Yesterday, it was revealed that Master Bombardier Makthepharak's father, Boutone Makthepharak, was the commander-in-chief of the Laotian army in the 1970s, but was jailed by Communists and eventually executed in 1980.

Master Bombardier Makthepharak and his mother, who was working as a secretary for the United Nations at the time, fled Laos two years later after a failed assassination attempt. The pair lived in a refugee camp for three years and wandered through many countries before being accepted to Canada as political refugees in February 1986.

Master Bombardier Makthepharak decided to follow his father's footsteps when he joined the Canadian army reserves in 1997. He has since participated in three overseas tours. In his application to the miliary, Master Bombardier Makthepharak wrote about how proud he was of his mother and how thankful he was for everything she had done for him.

Welcome home, Mak. Thank you and your mother for your courage and your bravery.

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