Silver Cross mother in Comox remembers son all year long


WATCH: 23-year-old Andrew Eykelenboom was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in 2006.

Maureen Eykelenboom admits she doesn’t visit her son’s gravesite very often.

“Andrew’s not here. This is only a marker,” she said. “I go to his bench at Goose Spit if I want to feel close to him.”

As Canadians prepare to mark Remembrance Day on Sunday, Eykelenboom says every day is Remembrance Day to her but at the same time, she steels herself for it.

“It’s not as totally gut-wrenching as it used to be but it does rip you apart again each year,” said Eykelenboom.

Her son Corporal Andrew Eykelenboom was a 23-year-old military medic when he was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on August 11th 2006. He was days from returning home and had actually finished his tour but decided to go out one more time.
He felt duty and morally bound to be there for the Afghani people.

“His reply to me one time was, but mom if not us, then who? Who is going to help these people?” she added.

Having lost a child at war Maureen Eykelenboom is now a Silver Cross mother.

“No, it’s not a club you want to join. Your life is changed,” she said.

After her son’s death, she started Boomer’s Legacy a charity named after his nickname. It raises money for the less fortunate here in Canada and in countries where Canadians serve. To date, it has raised over $1.5 million.

“I grin sometimes because I think Andy look at that, look at what has happened because of you,” said Eykelenboom.

Calling it a ‘duty call’, Maureen will be at the Comox cenotaph Sunday morning for Remembrance Day ceremonies but she wishes she could be anywhere else.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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