Canada honored Greek Canadian Niki Psycharis with the Silver Cross for her son's tragic loss in action, in Afghanistan, while serving with Canadian Armed Forces, in 2007.
On, Wednesday, June 20, 2007,Sgt. Christos Karigiannis and two soldiers under his command -- Cpl. Stephen Bouzane, 26, and Pte. Joel Wiebe, 22 -- were transporting supplies between coalition checkpoints near Sperwan Ghar, a remote Forward Operating Base southwest of Kandahar city. Shortly after sunrise, their vehicle -- a convertible M-Gator with no protective armour -- drove over an improvised explosive device(IED)planted by insurgents. The blast killed all three men.
Two days before, Sgt. Karigiannis was supposed to fly to New Zealand for a few days of rest and relaxation before finishing his summer in Afghanistan and returning to Canada at the end of August.
During the ceremony at Canada's National War Memorial Niki Psycharis represented all the mothers of the servicemen that have fallen for Canada.
Ms. Psycharis lives in Laval, Quebec and is the 6th mother of that city to receive the Silver Cross in the sixty years the medal is awarded.
Sgt Karigiannis was on his third overseas deployment, having previously served in the former Yugoslavia. He had been a member of the elite Canadian Forces Skyhawks parachutist team. Also, he was a qualified pilot.
At the time of his death Sgt. Karigiannis was serving with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry