It has been just over 15 years since Maureen Eykelenboom’s son, Andrew, was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
Corporal Andrew “Boomer” Eykelenboom was a Canadian Armed Forces medic and was on a seven-month tour when he was killed.
Now, all these years later, Eykelenboom says she is seeing images on TV of Afghan residents scared and running for their lives as the Taliban takes over the country.
“It’s extremely sad. It’s extremely sad for these people. Our sons and daughters went to win the minds and hearts of people. And to know that we weren’t able to sustain it, to sustain that betterment track, if you will, is very sad,” Eykelenboom said.
“The world is cruel. We live in Canada, even in COVID we live in an unreal situation compared to many countries in this world.”
Since her son’s death, Eykelenboom has founded Boomer’s Legacy, which provides deployed Canadian Armed Forces soldiers, sailors, aviators and airwomen charitable funds so that they can then help others.
She said watching the news clips of Afghan residents and seeing young people, she wonders if one of them was once a child her son was trying to help.
“We have a reputation of being kind in this world, let’s keep it. And of being giving. We need to keep that reputation and we need to do what is right,” she said.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Wednesday two Canadian military aircraft are set to resume “flying regularly” into Kabul as part of the international effort to evacuate civilians and citizens fleeing the Taliban takeover.
Global News has confirmed the development comes after Canada and the U.S. reached a deal to allow Canadian aircraft to begin flying into and out of Kabul.
“I believe that all the countries that went to help need to continue or else, shame on us,” Eykelenboom said.
“Honour their commitment. Do what’s right. That’s my call, it’s not rocket science.”