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Last goodbye to a fallen sailor

Hundreds of military personnel in full dress uniform stood row on row at 12 Wing Shearwater in honour of the first Canadian sailor to die in Afghanistan.

Comm. Garrett Reddy welcomed some 700 military personnel, family, friends and media to the service commemorating Petty Officer (Second Class) Craig Blake Friday.

“Craig knew he could make a difference, not only within Canada, but if called upon in support of country abroad,” said Reddy.

Blake, 37, was returning from successfully defusing an improvised explosive device May 3 in the Panjway District southwest of Kandahar City when another exploded. He was on foot when the explosion occurred

Petty Officer (First Class) Paul “Knobby” Walsh painted a brave and knoble portrait of the dive buddy he served with in the Maritime Forces Atlantic Fleet Diving Unit.

“Craig, like many of us, was asked to pack away his dive gear for a while and go and defuse roadside bombs that were put there to kill and maim Canadian soldiers and unfortunately Afghan civilians.” said Walsh.

He was also remembered by his older brother Chris who describe an enthusiastic sportsman and loving husband and father.

“He chose to live his life to a different standard,” said his brother. “He was never focused on fancy cars or lavish lifestyles.”

Blake’s ashes were buried at sea.