Inside Afghanistan: Politics, war and buzkashi

Few can claim a national game as violent or influential as Afghanistan has in buzkashi. The country in which Canadian soldiers fought for 13 years is home to a deceptively complex society. And buzkashi (pronounced ‘BOO-skeh-shee’), which dates to the times of Genghis Khan, is a deceptively complex game that over the centuries has...
  •  It had to be the worst of all bad ideas. Saturday, March 7, 1807. HMS Halifax, a Royal Navy sloop, lies off Hampton Roads, Va. The Napoleonic Wars are in full swing, and the British are in Chesapeake Bay, blockading two French warships that had...
  • Ross Mitchell: A sniper from the farm

    September 26, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Ross Mitchell of Douglas, Man., was just 18 when he began infantry training with the Canadian army in 1943. Told he would not be sent overseas until he was 19, he decided to give the airborne a try. He spent the summer of 1944 running...
  • Taking solace in the
    not-so-little things

    September 18, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Sometimes, the little things make a big difference. Sometimes the little things add up. And sometimes the little things are all you have. It might be wise to remember this as Canadian troops ramp up their peace operations in Mali, where they are conducting medical...
  • CANEX: The company store

    September 12, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Back in the day, some 40-plus years ago, the CANEX store was a big deal to Brian Hynes and all the military brats with whom he hung out. Born the son of an air force navigator based at Comox, B.C., Hynes saw his share of...
  • Jack Widdicombe: From combine to Lancaster and back

    September 5, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Lancaster pilot Jack Widdicombe was a wide-eyed Prairie farm boy about to be thrust into the inferno of Second World War Europe when he boarded a double-decker bus and toured London shortly after arriving in England. The 21-year-old native of Foxwarren, Man., and a pal...
  • Steaming up the track

    August 29, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Some 650 young athletes, including 317 sponsored by local legions across Canada, met in a steaming hot Brandon, Man., for the 42nd annual National Youth Track and Field Championships from Aug.10-12. Weekend temperatures hit 40℃ as under-16 and under-18 youth competed for 333 medals in 87 events....
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