The harsh brutality of war came home to Hamilton yesterday when a former Olympic athlete from the west Mountain was killed by fire from a U.S. warplane in Afghanistan.
Private Mark Anthony Graham, 33, of the Royal Canadian Regiment, is the first Hamilton native to die in the war against Taliban insurgents. The U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt was one of two planes providing support to NATO troops in Operation Medussa.
Graham was remembered as an imposing and gifted athlete who quickly rose to become a national calibre runner.
His family gathered yesterday in their west Mountain bungalow to mourn his passing.
"They're in a fog and just weeping," said the Reverend George Horton of Stewart Memorial Church, where Graham's father has been a long-time parishioner and trustee. "They are still in shock."
Horton spent much of yesterday consoling the family, including Graham's mother Linda, a social worker, and father Albert, who works at Stelco. source