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2015 Silver Cross mother is the mother of GO!!!, army.ca fallen member.

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This story from today's Ottawa Citizen concerns the 2015 Silver Cross Mother. Her son, Cpl Jordan Anderson, was an active army.ca member. The story is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

Silver Cross Mother: 'Deeply honoured' but the hurt never ends

More from Chris Cobb, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: November 2, 2015 | Last Updated: November 2, 2015 6:00 AM EST

Sheila Anderson apologizes for getting emotional.

She’s explaining how she feels about being chosen by Royal Canadian Legion as this year’s Silver Cross Mother, but inevitably it leads her to speak about her oldest son Jordan, killed in Afghanistan on July 4, 2007, two weeks shy of his 26th birthday.

“I am deeply honoured to be chosen,” she says from her home in Yellowknife, “but it’s a really tough job speaking about my son without crying.

“I have empathy for mothers and families who have lost loved ones in conflict,” she adds. “It’s a group nobody wants to join. There is no coming back from it. You don’t get over it and you don’t get closure if they died away from you, and you didn’t get to say goodbye.”

Jordan was close to completing his second six-month tour of Afghanistan when he was killed by a buried roadside bomb while on patrol in Panjwai district, about 20 kilometres from Kandahar City.

He died in his armoured vehicle with five other Canadian soldiers and their Afghan interpreter.

Cpl Jordan Anderson, 3rd Battalion Princess PatriciaÌs Canadian Light Infantry was killed on 4 July, 2007 along with five other Canadian Forces members and one Afghan interpreter, when the vehicle they were traveling in struck an improvised explosive device south-west of Kandahar City.

Born in Iqaluit, Jordan was a member of the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based out of Edmonton. He had been married for barely two years.

His mother, who used to work with emotionally disturbed teenagers in Ottawa, will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial on Remembrance Day.

The Memorial (Silver) Cross dates back to 1919 when it was first issued to mark the personal loss of all widows and mothers. The Silver Cross mother is chosen from a nationwide list of nominees and remains in the ceremonial role for a year.

Sheila Anderson’s term began Sunday.

“Jordan was a non-conformist so we were really surprised when he joined the army,” she says. “We didn’t think he followed instructions very well, but obviously he got over that.

“And he enjoyed the camaraderie, and when he joined the army he really believed he could make a difference in the world,” she adds. “He worked very hard at that.”

Two years before his death, Jordan’s military career almost ended when a parachuting accident left him with two crushed vertebrae and a prognosis that he had a 10-per-cent chance of remaining in the military.

“They were surprised he would walk again, never mind jump,” recalls his mother. “He was always a bit of a dare devil.”

Jordan spoke to his mother and father James just four days before he died: “He had the radio in his platoon and I’m not sure he was supposed to be phoning home all the time, but we heard from him quite often when he was deployed.

“He told us that if anyone over there wasn’t afraid they were a fool because it was terrifying. He said the scariest part was that they couldn’t tell where the enemy was, or who the enemy was. When the enemy is hiding among civilians it’s difficult to tell the difference.”

None of Jordan’s three younger brothers has joined the military.

Says their mother: “After what happened to Jordan I don’t think they’re much interested.”

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Further to the above, Mrs Anderson mentioned in an interview on CFRA in Ottawa, that members of army.ca petitioned the University of Manitoba on GO!!!'s behalf. He had been working on a degree and had basically completed his requirements, so the university granted him a posthumous degree.
I cannot even begin to understand how difficult this will be for Mrs Anderson. My sincere and heartfelt thanks that she has volunteered to be the Silver Cross Mother.  I can only hope she feels the support of a grateful nation.
For those looking for a more tangible way to remember Jordan Anderson and to help others, there is the Jordan Anderson 'On The Ramp' Bursary at the University of Manitoba. Details are: here, here and here.