Ten years after Kandahar: lives changed forever

News 8 July, 2017
  • Photo Jean-François Desgagnés
    Dominic Larocque military amputee hockey player, luge training , may 29, 2017 , at the Valcartier military base.

    Nicolas Saillant

    Saturday, 8th July 2017 00:00

    Saturday, 8th July 2017 00:00

    Look at this article

    Two military amputees a leg during their mission in Afghanistan have refused to put an end to their career, and their efforts have led them to return to Kandahar, for one, while the other has found his salvation in the paralympic games.

    • Read also: Ten years after Kandahar: the sacrifices that not soublient not

    In addition to the dead, improvised explosive devices placed by the enemy in the roads where circulating light armored vehicles have several more injured.

    It is in these circumstances, but a few days apart, that Simon Mailloux and Dominic Larocque lost a leg in November 2007.

    Evacuated urgently to the airport of Kandahar, stabilized and then transferred to Germany, the two military leaders have understood that their life was to change forever. “What I remember is that I woke up and I was doing the check to see if everything was there, but it was missing a leg,” says uncoated captain Simon Mailloux.

    Photo courtesy

    Simon Mailloux, a soldier, who returned to Kandahar after having lost a leg in 2007 due to the explosion of a homemade bomb of the taliban.


    Treated at the Centre François-Charron (IRDPQ) to get used to their new leg, the two men took a year to get back on their feet. A period during which the captain Mailloux has not stopped thinking about to return to his men.

    “My team was still there. The 22 was there. I had to go back there, and that’s what I tried to do the following two years “.

    But the question for the military to be different from others. “For me it was important that there be no development,” says the one who has done all the physical tests, including the 13-mile walk like the others.

    Simon Mailloux, was the first canadian soldier amputee to be redeployed in a combat mission.

    Salvation by the sport

    Enlisted in the army to be part of the team of search and rescue, Dominic Larocque has seen his amputation mean the end of his dream.

    Always to the employment of forces as a graphic artist, the military has found salvation in the sport, as a player of hockey and toboggan.

    Spectator match of parahockey to the Vancouver Games, the former player of high level has been attracted by this sport to the point of being part of Team Canada at the Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

    Four years later, he will be in Korea, but this time as a goalkeeper.

    “I went to get some satisfaction on one side, but it will not replace the next field in the army that I liked before. It is a mourning “, he admits lucidly.

    II still lives on through Facebook

    Enlisted specifically to go to Afghanistan, the soldier Michel Jr. Lévesque knew when it was deployed, that the risks were great. “He was aware of the danger. He often said : “maybe I don’t come back”, ” recalls his sister Christine.

    The announcement of his death by high-ranking officers who came to knock at the door of the family home on November 17, 2007 is, unfortunately, confirmed their worst fears.

    A decade later, the family of the military is, however, happy to see that the memory of Michel Levesque, however, continues to live, thanks to two pages in Facebook in his honour. “It is more to his feast day, Remembrance day, birthdays and significant, but the people do not forget. I was not expecting it, but it touches me even 10 years later “

    Michel jr, Lévesque, soldier

    “His death has been in vain “

    All the more that the sister of Michel was not certain that his death has been useful in the end. “I believe that his death was in vain “, she admits. Comfort feeds so the tributes she receives it is Josiane Laurin, the friend of Michel until their separation a few months before his departure, who created the page Facebook at the announcement of his death. “It seems that I need me to collect and send him messages. It was a way of freeing myself, when I’m bored I will talk to him, ” explains the designer of the page which has 295 members.


    A beach has also been named in his honor to the Red River where he grew up. the other tribute that warmed the heart of his sister, who still lives there.