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Canadian First Nation soldier dies serving with US Forces


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First I want to say  i hope this a double posting I did serach could not find anything. Second i am sorry  to hear about his family's loss.

I have a question to ask, maybe someone here could answer it.
Due to the fact he was not serving in the Canadian Military and is being buried in Canadian soil. Would the US Military  send  a detail to bury  him with proper military respect? Does  the US Forces get to bring weapons for a firing party or would the Canadian Forces do this if requested? I was wondering because of the Strict Canadian Gun laws

I have been thinking about this for a few days. Just curious

Rest in Peace, Corporal.

Hopefully he gets the hono(u)rable burial and respect he deserves.
FormerHorseGuard said:
Would the US Military  send  a detail to bury  him with proper military respect?

I found this about U.S. Military Funeral Honors:

"As provided by law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of not less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent Service of the deceased veteran. The honor detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. Taps will be played by a bugler, if available, or by electronic recording. Today, there are so few buglers available that the Military Services often cannot provide one."

Neo Cortex said:
Rest in Peace, Corporal.

Hopefully he gets the hono(u)rable burial and respect he deserves.

Jeez, what a thing to say ::) Why the heck do you think he wouldn't?
recceguy said:
Jeez, what a thing to say ::) Why the heck do you think he wouldn't?

Sorry, I didn't mean any offence by it. Obviously he'll get the respect he deserves...it was more out of not knowing what to say. I'll leave it at RIP next time.
I was wondering if the US forces did the full military  funeral  outside of the US proper? Would they  send troops to another country  to do the military  honours .
I was curious. Iknow we have sent Canadian troops overseas when fallen Canadian troops are found in western Europe.
I do not think any offensive was intended by  the other poster, I would hope the Cpl gets the honours he earned and deserves too. Just wonder how they  do it for a burial in another country.
FormerHorseGuard said:
I was wondering if the US forces did the full military  funeral  outside of the US proper?

Until January 1, 2009, "full military honors" at Arlington National Cemetery were only accorded to officers, Medal of Honor recipients and enlisted members who reach the highest possible enlisted rank of E-9.
"Full honors include an escort platoon, a colors team, a band and a horse-drawn caisson. These are rendered in addition to the military pallbearers, firing party, bugler and chaplain that are a part of standard honors, according to cemetery officials."
It specifies that the soldier must be KIA. "Enlisted soldiers killed in a combat zone or hostile-fire area as the result of non-hostile actions not noted above will continue to receive standard military funeral honors at Arlington". I believe the soldier in question was killed in a vehicle roll over.
Army Honor Funerals Part 1:
Army Honor Funerals Part 2:
Army Honor Funerals Part 3:
DOD Military Funeral Honors Two-Person Detail Part 1:
DOD Military Funeral Honors Two-Person Detail Part 2:
DOD Military Funeral Honors Two-Person Detail Part 3:
Military Funeral Honors How it works:

The short answer is "yes" he can receive a full US military funeral in Canada.  Diplomatic clearances would be similar to request for visiting forces/exercise request.  The Canadian military has also held funeral services in foreign countries after remains from previous wars were recovered.

Longer answer:  I have seen and read that the US military has held full honour ceremonies in numerous countries due to the high-percentage of immigrants serving in the ranks.  (Background - under executive order by President GW Bush, foreign nationals serving in the US military can apply for immediate citizenship.  Also under that same executive order their applications are fast-tracked for approval.)  Examples of foreign-held US militaries funerals that I can recall reading about are in Mongolia, Guatamela and Mexico; in the very first funeral for an Iraq casualty in Mexico the firing party apparently almost had their weapons confiscated.  The funeral ended with a bugler playing "Taps" and the firing party doing a general salute instead of firing a volley.  The bolts were removed (kept back at the embassy for safe keeping).

RIP.  I just hope he had a chance to swing by the Timmies in KAF for a last taste of home.
Cpl Morin will receive full military honors complete with a full honor guard and most likely a general officer will be there to present the flag to the next of kin. It has been Army policy to have a general officer at each burial of a soldier killed in theater. Its possible that one of the generals from the 10th Mountain would make the trip just a guess on my part. My condolences to the Morin family.


DoD Identifies Army Casualties

          The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

          Cpl. Darby T. Morin, 25, of Victoria, Canada, died Aug. 22 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

          For more information media may contact the Fort Drum public affairs office at (315) 772-8286.

greentoblue said:
The short answer is "yes" he can receive a full US military funeral in Canada.  Diplomatic clearances would be similar to request for visiting forces/exercise request. 

And I'd hope the nearest CF unit (N Sask R or Sask D) would be ready and willing to assist and accommodate the final farewell to our fallen Brother In Arms.

And in similar news, a second soldier from the same First Nations community was killed in a vehicle rollover on the Reserve.  Kyle Whitehead, 23, served with the PPCLI.  (More on link)
The Patriot Guard Riders are on standby if their presence is desired.

Thanks for the answers. I am glad to hear the Service is taken care of.
I hope his family  realizes he died with honour and his service friends will be there for him to the end. Rest  easy  and stand tall with your brothers
A previous Canadian who died while in the service of the United States.


A Canadian Indian's Age-Old Call to U.S. Duty
Corporal Killed in Iraq Served With Army, Marines

FREDERICTON, Canada -- Someone gave Theresa Seeley tobacco to scatter on her son's coffin -- a gift, in the Indian tradition, for the elders waiting to greet his soul.

She was uncomfortable with it. "That wasn't what we believed in," she said. Her son Michael was raised "like every other Joe Canadian," with little time for the folklore of his Mi'kmaq tribe.

But as she looked around the crowded graveyard at the funeral, on a New Brunswick hill near where Michael had cavorted on his bike and skipped school with full-of-life glee, it was hard to pick the group in which her son had fit.

There, saluting in solemn slow motion, were soldiers -- American officers, formal and stiff -- who had brought his body from Iraq as one of their own. There were other soldiers, Canadians, honoring a casualty of a war not theirs. There were non-natives, Michael's friends from school and town. And there were representatives from two tribes, come to acknowledge the cost of a centuries-old custom that has sent Indians to fight in U.S. wars.

Seeley gently tossed the tobacco into the grave.

Her son, Cpl. Michael T. Seeley, 27, was killed Oct. 30 by a roadside bomb outside Baghdad. He was on the last two days of his second tour of Iraq -- the first with U.S. Marines, the second with the U.S. Army. He lived in Canada, a country overwhelmingly opposed to the Iraq war. But he wore a U.S. military uniform, as do at least two dozen other native citizens of North America entitled to fight for either country.

"It hearkens back to the warrior tradition that is part of the culture of many tribes," said John Moses, an assistant curator at the Canadian Museum of Civilization near Ottawa. "Culturally, it remains a significant rite of passage among North American Indians to perform some military service.

"And if they are trying to get in the thick of things quicker, enlistment in the U.S. armed services is probably the way to go," said Moses, a First Nations, as natives are called in Canada, who served in the Canadian armed forces.

Michael always wanted things quicker, said his mother, sitting at her kitchen table a week after she buried her son. Hers is a white-frame house with a pool in the back, a basketball hoop in the front and an assortment of cars parked outside. It is "off-reserve" -- fewer than half of Canada's aboriginals live on native reserves -- and is like so many other suburban homes spreading through the flat woodland outside Fredericton.

Various others of her four sons and daughter, girlfriends and relatives gathered in the warm kitchen, listening quietly while Theresa Seeley talked without tears of Michael, the rambunctious one.

He was easily bored, anxious to get on with life. School did not interest him, but he liked being a cadet in the reserves. After he graduated from Fredericton High School in 1998, the relatively small Canadian military said they would have a space for him in a year. Instead, he called the U.S. Marines in Maine and insisted on joining right away.

The Pentagon says the U.S. military includes 172 persons born in Canada, most with dual citizenship or U.S. permanent residence status. But Canadian-born First Nations need not meet those requirements. A 1794 treaty between the fledgling United States and Britain recognized that native bands straddled the border and should cross freely.

That pact, called the Jay Treaty, formalized the long history of cross-border enlistment. Six hundred Nova Scotian Mi'kmaq fought with George Washington. A Canadian Mohawk was a cavalry lieutenant at the side of Lt. Col. George Custer at the massacre at Little Bighorn. Canadian Indians, a term they themselves still use, have fought as U.S. troops in every modern war.

After Sept. 11, 2001, Theresa Seeley knew her son's choice would send him to war. He went as a sniper with the first troops into Iraq in 2003, and reached Baghdad unscathed. His letters from the field, dutifully collected by the U.S. military, were returned to him for lack of Canadian postage. He ended his tour undaunted, complaining only that his Marine pay was too low.

"He loved the challenge of it. But it never seemed he could get ahead," said his mother. He switched his enlistment to the Army, which seemed to have a better pay package, and returned to Iraq in October 2005. He was supposed to come home this Oct. 28, but volunteered to stay four days longer to allow others in his unit more leave time for Thanksgiving in the United States.

On the evening of Oct. 30, two officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived at Theresa Seeley's door. Her son had been driving a Humvee in a patrol convoy, they said. The concussion of the bomb killed him, they said.

"There must be a mistake," Theresa Sweeney said.

The Web site http://icasualties.org, which tracks Iraq war fatalities, identifies 29 Indian or Alaska Native troops killed so far, but does not distinguish which side of the porous border they came from.

"We are both American and Canadian. We feel America is our home, too," said George Paul, who compiled a partial list of Canadian natives in the U.S. armed forces two years ago for the First Nations Drum newspaper. He found 26, and is certain there are many more.

Down the road from the Seeleys' home outside Fredericton, on the Maliseet Reserve, Tony Kennedy, 35, said joining the U.S. Marines was a childhood dream.

"I got tired of reading about battles. I wanted to fight some," said Kennedy, who became a Marine officer and served in Iraq in 2004, and now is pursuing a master's degree in military history.

For Kennedy's neighbor on the Maliseet Reserve, Veronica Brooks, 22, the motivation was not to fight, but to get away. She was bored with college and saw no alluring job prospects. On a whim, she and her sister Jessica drove three hours to Presque Isle, Maine, to sign up with a U.S. Army recruiter in 2003.

"It's been a good experience," said Brooks, a chemical operations specialist in the Army. She has reenlisted for four more years. "I've gotten to go places I never expected and see different cultures. I love it."

She just returned to her home in October after 10 months in Kuwait. She blushed with pride when she stepped off the plane wearing her smart dress uniform. Her father had planted an American flag on the front lawn, and run a cord out with a spotlight to shine on it.

"I'm very, very proud of her," said her father, Walter Brooks, 42. He said neighbors applaud his daughter's move, despite the widespread unpopularity of the Iraq war in Canada.

For some natives on reserves, a political view about the propriety of the Iraq war is "a luxury they don't have," said Janice Switlo, an Edmonton legal activist for indigenous rights. Native reserves have soaring social problems: alcoholism, unemployment, domestic abuse. Enlistment is a way out.

"Sometimes the situation in the reserves is so horrendous, they want to get as far away from it as possible," she said. To exploit this appeal, U.S. recruiters used to stalk Indian and native Inuit communities. In 2003, Canada protested the practice, prompting the U.S. military to order its recruiters not to enter the country. But the recruiters await ready on the other side of the border.

Seeley said she does not regret that her son used his native heritage as a ticket from Canada to Iraq. He followed his wishes.

"It was always up to him," she said, with a steady voice. She laughs more than cries at her memories. Her family calls her strong, brave. She shakes her head in disagreement.

"I've seen him" in his coffin, "seen how peaceful he looked. I've had a funeral. But there's no feeling," she said, a swell of frustration rising to catch her voice. Just for a moment. She recovers.

"Part of me doesn't believe it," she says. "When I do -- when I start to feel -- I may fall apart."
Condolences to the family, colleagues and friends (on both sides of the border) of the fallen....  :salute:
Haggis said:
And in similar news, a second soldier from the same First Nations community was killed in a vehicle rollover on the Reserve.  Kyle Whitehead, 23, served with the PPCLI.  (More on link)

God damn. RIP mano.  :(
Brave and idealistic, we need more like him.  I just have one more point of clarification, I know this is a CDN Army site.  However, the US Military is not referred to as US Forces, that is a CDN term.