Afghanistan war vet pauses to remember fallen comrades

In the days leading up to Remembrance Day, Nick Fusca takes time to remember comrades from the War in Afghanistan.

“On my last tour, in 2006, we had six soldiers in my (brigade) who were killed in Afghanistan,” Fusca said.

Fusca particularly grieves for his good friend, Pte. Mark Anthony Graham, 33, who was killed in a friendly-fire incident on Sept. 4, 2006, in Afghanistan.

“A couple of those guys were close friends of mine,” he added. “To me, Remembrance Day is very important in remembering them and supporting their families.”

Capt. Fusca, 32, along with Cpl. Nick Reuter, 25, Cpl. Justin Bannister, 25 and Cpl. Morgan Dallas, 21, were among the Canadian Armed Forces members in attendance at the 2016 Remembrance Day ceremony at the Scarborough Civic Centre on Sunday, on Nov. 6.

Capt. Fusca has been with the Army Reserves in Toronto since 2003. He said has seen some of his comrades killed in action and he tries to keep their memories alive every Remembrance Day.

He plans to attend a memorial for Pte. Graham in Hamilton on Nov. 11.

“It’s important to support the families of friends that we’ve lost in Afghanistan,” Fusca said, remembering Graham. “I am planning to go to Hamilton to support his family in grieving for their son.”

Capt. Fusca admitted that the presence of Canadian deployment is not as strong as it was before. However, he also pointed out the significance of Nov. 11, is more prominent when more Canadians are deployed.

“Once more soldiers are deployed in places like Africa and Europe, Remembrance Day will become more prominent again like it was when we were in Afghanistan,” Fusca said.