PRSD honours Canadian service in Afghanistan - former Canadian troop in Afghanistan and current PRSD principal shares his experiences
Flag lowering ceremonies, classroom presentations, assemblies and even the opportunity to speak with a Canadian soldier are examples of ways Peace River School Division (PRSD) schools honoured Canadian service in Afghanistan today.
At Hines Creek Composite (HCC) and Peace River High School (PRHS), students were given the great opportunity to speak with a Canadian soldier who served in Afghanistan, who also happens to be the Principal at HCC. Adam Murray shared his experiences with students through a videoconference presentation from when he served in Afghanistan.
“I helped in an intelligence capacity to protect Canadian troops, to give commanders information on Taliban movements in the Canadian area of operations in the Panjway district” says Murray.
Murray joined the military as an army reservist in 2005 and was deployed to Afghanistan in April of 2010. At the time of deployment he was employed as a teacher in Edmonton. Murray notes that there were a lot of Canadian teachers deployed from the Canadian reserve force and more than a quarter of the forces were reservists that wanted to help their country.
Murray explains that earlier in the conflict Canadian forces built many schools and that the Taliban come in and used the schools as operation headquarters. Part of the Canadian forces role was to get the schools back from the Taliban and make areas safe for families and for children to go back to school.
When asked about Canada’s influence in Afghanistan, Murray says that it was about giving the opportunity to grow and flourish.
“Canadian troops gave back the opportunity to learn and become independent – this was really special for a lot of soldiers” says Murray. “Canada is definitely the greatest country in the world and I feel very humbled to have served like I did.”
While on pre-deployment training for his mission, Murray lost a great friend who was also a reservist that had decided to serve. He was a fellow teacher from the Edmonton area, George Miok. Murray also mentored a young soldier who also lost his life at the same time as George.
“Canada really sacrificed a lot to help the people of Afghanistan” says Murray.
Murray’s father was a Colonel in the Canadian Air Force and Murray says that serving Canada was something engrained in him - that he always had the desire to give and help his country.
“I feel strongly about protecting people needing support and helping people live free of oppression” says Murray.
Murray returned from Afghanistan in December of 2010 and returned to the education field in 2011.
Top: Canadian troops in Afghanistan (photo by Adam Murray)
Right: Fairview High students raising the flag
Bottom left: Peace High students raising the flag
Bottom right: Children in Afghanistan (photo by Adam Murray)