I can't stop thinking about Master Cpl. Paul Franklin.
He is the medic who lost part of his leg in the suicide bombing in Kandahar on Sunday, which tragically killed three Afghan civilians and Canadian diplomat Glyn Berry, and wounded 10 Afghan citizens, as well as two Canadian soldiers.
When their vehicle was torn to shreds by the bomb, Paul Franklin tied a tourniquet around his own partially severed leg and tended to the other wounded people. The next day, his wife, who is astounding in her own stoicism, reported him as saying that he has given himself a new nickname - Stumpy McGillicuddy - and recounted their conversation in which she laughingly told him that now they had to get the automatic transmission car for which she has been lobbying to replace their old standard vehicle.
How do people get the strength to deal with such overwhelming situations with this much courage and grace?
I don't want to comment on whether Canada should be sending 2,000 more troops into Afghanistan as part of a multinational partnership. I don't want to split hairs over whether this is indeed a peace-keeping mission, when in fact, there is little peace to keep. The fact is Master Cpl. Franklin is a medic. He tested his training to the ultimate degree, putting aside his own pain and horror and blood loss, while tending to the wounded.
And that is heroic.