Saturday, May 17, 2008

On May 17

On this day in ...
... 1991, the World Health Organization officially removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. To commemorate the event, today is recognized as the International Day Against Homophobia.
... 2006, "at 6:55 p.m. local time, 24 kilometres west of Kandahar city," Afghanistan, Captain Nichola Goddard of the Canadian Army was killed "in a lengthy firefight with Taliban insurgents." She was the 1st woman and 16th Canadian to die during the conflict there. Lisa LaFlamme of CTV, who'd been embedded in Goddard's unit for a year, recalled that Goddard (left) said she'd joined for the simple reason that "'I needed a job, I had no money'"; however, "'somewhere along the way I fell in love with it. I'm probably a lifer now.'" At the time of her death Goddard, 26, who'd been born in Papua New Guinea, was among just over 200 women serving in Afghanistan. LaFlamme wrote of Goddard:
She had the respect, which I think is the most important thing, of her all-male platoon. Nobody questioned her. What she said went; they totally respected her decisions and knew that they were in good hands with her.

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