Cpl. David Braun (August 22, 2006)
Soldier 'never spoke with fear'
Latest Canadian to die in Afghanistan described as soldier who loved his job
Aug. 31, 2006. 07:31 PM
RAYMORE, Sask. — Cpl. David Braun was remembered today as a passionate soldier with a strongly held view that the Canadian military should do its part to promote stability abroad.
Braun was killed in Afghanistan last week when the convoy he was travelling in was hit by a suicide bomber.
Based in Shilo, Man., the 27-year-old had been with the military for four years, but had been in Afghanistan for less than a month.
More than 600 mourners gathered at the local school in Raymore — a tiny farming community about an hour north of Regina — to pay tribute to Braun, the 27th Canadian soldier to die in the war-torn country since 2002.
“He was one of the good people,” said Jim Braman, Braun’s former teacher and a close family friend.
“Someone who could win you over with his quiet strength or his sense of humour or his generous heart. It’s obvious by the number in attendance today that Dave did touch the lives of a lot of people.”
Braman recalled how Braun developed a keen sense for world events in high school.
If he wasn’t watching the Looney Tunes, Braman said, the television would always be tuned to the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, or CNN.
“From his interest in world events, Dave formed strong opinions about what role Canada should play in these events,” Braman said.
“He started to feel the need to make a difference. He could have done this a number of ways, but the way he chose was ... as a soldier, a profession he had been leaning toward all his life.”
Braun would often argue that Canada should have a strong military presence in the Middle East. In fact, when he was on leave and at home, he was often “wound up as tight as a drum” because of the inactivity, Braman remembered.
“Dave felt he should be doing more,” he said.
While a good deal of Thursday’s service focused on Braun’s passion for the military, there were lighter moments as well.
Braman recalled how Braun could fall asleep just about anywhere. When he was a child and almost had his finger severed in the door of a combine, he even managed to take a nap on the way to the doctor’s.
Braman’s son Terry, who was Braun’s best friend, recalled how once, while out dancing with friends in Regina about three years ago, Braun doffed his shirt to impress the ladies while “The Summer of ’69” by Brian Adams blared in the background.
“Yes, Dave was constantly surprising me,” he recalled with a chuckle.
Terry Braman said the funeral brought with it mixed emotions for him. He was sad to lose such a good friend, but also very proud of the work Braun did.
He recalled how he and Braun talked at length about his deployment to Afghanistan right before he left.
“This guy never spoke with fear, never,” Braun recalled. “He shrugged his shoulders and said `I didn’t re-sign my contract to sit around Shilo, that’s for sure.’ ”