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Soldiering on through injury, loss and grief

The Dec. 30, 2009, IED explosion killed four Canadian soldiers and journalist Michelle Lang. It also badly injured four other soldiers and left a lingering mark on many of their friends and colleagues.

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Cpl. Barrett Fraser rests as his girlfriend, Leah Beston, changes the dressing on his foot at her parents' Calgary home Dec. 12, 2010. He has had 14 surgical procedures since the bomb attack Dec. 30, 2009.

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Cpl. Barrett Fraser rests as his girlfriend Leah Beston changes the dressing on his foot.

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Cpl. Barrett Fraser rests as his girlfriend Leah Beston changes the dressing on his foot

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Cpl. Jesse Starko pauses for a moment as he visits the gravesite of friend and colleague Sgt. George Miok at the Our Lady of Peace cemetery in Edmonton, Dec 10, 2010. Cpl. Starko would have normally been in the vehicle at the time of the bombing but was cut from the patrol at the last minute to make space for Calgary journalist Michelle Lang, who also died in the blast.

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Cpl. Jesse Starko walks away from the gravesite of friend and colleague Sgt. George Miok at the Our Lady of Peace cemetery in Edmonton Dec. 10, 2010.

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The Afghanistan country handbook along with other military equipment is seen on a nightstand in Cpl. Jesse Starko's room.

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Cpl. Jesse Starko plays the guitar in his room.

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Cpl. Stu Shier, 21, of Calgary, a member of the Calgary Highlanders, was one of the first people to witness the carnage in the immediate aftermath of the blast.

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Sgt. Jimmy Collins shows his tattoo at his Kamloops, B.C., home, Dec. 20, 2010. The tattoo bears the initials of Pte. Garrett Chidley, Sgt. George Miok, Cpl. Zachery McCormack, Sgt. Kirk Taylor and journalist Michelle Lang, who were all killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan Dec. 30, 2009.

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Cpl. Regan Yee, 27, gets dressed in his Calgary home for his night shift job at Brinks. He was supposed to be in the vehicle that got bombed, but was moved to another to make room for the two civilians, Michelle Lang and Bushra Saeed. Cpl. Yee was among the first to try to help the survivors.

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Cpl. Regan Yee, 27,at his Calgary home before his night shift.

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Cpl. Brad Quast of Medicine Hat, Alta, was in Edmonton Dec. 11, 2010, before a regimental dinner. His shin was fractured in the bomb attack, his ankle fractured and dislocated, and his foot shattered into what one surgeon later described as "bone salad."

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A flaming Canadian flag tattoo is seen on Cpl. Brad Quast's forearm.

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Cpl. Brad Quast sits beside his cane while putting on boots.

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Cpl. Brad Quast

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Cpl. Brad Quast shows the scars on his foot.

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Cpl. Brad Quast shows a tattoo on his leg. He put the names of his friends and fallen comrades _ Sgt. George Miok, Cpl. Zachery McCormack and Pte. Garrett Chidley _ on his leg after they were killed in the bomb attack that claimed a total of five lives.

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Capt. Darryl Watts, in Calgary, shows the wristband that bears the names of those killed by the IED explosion in Afghanistan on Dec 30, 2009.

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Cpl. Fedor Volochtchik at a physiotherapy appointment in Calgary, Dec. 21, 2010. He was thrown clear of the vehicle at the time of the blast but sustained a concussion, three broken vertebrae, a dislocated and broken shoulder, a damaged jaw and broken teeth.

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Physiotherapist Lauren Vickery works on Cpl. Fedor Volochtchik in Calgary, in this Dec 21, 2010 file photo. Cpl. Volochtchik was wounded in an IED explosion in Afghanistan a year prior that killed four soldiers and a journalist.

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