The Death of Major Michelle Mendes
by C. L. Cook
Another Canadian soldier died in Afghanistan yesterday. Major Michelle Mendes was found dead in her quarters Thursday. She is the 118th Canadian soldier to perish in the country since Canada's involvement in its occupation, and the third woman in uniform to die there.
Major Mendes was a career soldier. The CBC quotes her mother Diane Knight's comments from a 2006 interview, where she said her daughter wished to have "an entire career in the army."
State media organ, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) reports Mendes' death is the subject of a Canadian Forces probe, and confirms it was not caused by enemy action.
The thirty year old Defence Intelligence officer was found dead in her room at Kandahar airfield. Canadian Forces say she was a member of Task Force Kandahar, but offered little more information on the case. Spokesperson Major Mario Couture read a statement from Mendes' colleagues, saying;
"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of our lost comrade. Our primary focus at this time is to provide the best possible support to the family of our soldier and to her colleagues."