OTTAWA - The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today:

"We deeply mourn the loss of a dedicated soldier Master-Corporal Anthony Klumpenhouwer and a great Canadian. A member of Canada's Special Operations Forces died on April 18 due to injuries from an accident that occurred in Afghanistan.

This is a time of great sorrow for his family and friends and I would like to extend my deepest condolences to them during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

This soldier served valiantly alongside his comrades to help build a better and brighter future for Afghans. Master-Corporal Anthony Klumpenhouwer tragic passing illustrates some of the risks that the selfless men and women of the Canadian Forces face every day in carrying out their duties.

Canada's efforts in Afghanistan also mean that Canadians here at home can continue to live in safety and security. I know Canadians are proud of our soldiers and forever grateful. Their actions and selflessness will endure."

The flag-draped casket of Master-Corporal Anthony Klumpenhouwer is heading home after a solemn farewell in Afghanistan.

Master-Corporal Anthony Klumpenhouwer, 25, is from Listowel, Ontario,