it’s a small, nasty world, after all

Forgive me; this is going to be a post with the bare minimum of reflection in it, at least until the comments section, because quite frankly I really don’t want to know what I think or how I feel about this. Right now I have to say I’d prefer neither to think about this, nor to have feelings about it, or even at all

It’s been five years since I felt sorry for Trevor Greene.

Trevor Greene CivilianTrevor Greene is a dynamic, innovative and well-traveled individual with over 15 years of experience in writing and reporting. He is a speaker of three languages, a published author, an entrepreneur, a trained and experienced liaison officer, and has eight years of highly regarded service in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Greene joined the Vancouver bureau of Bloomberg News as a general assignment reporter on business and finance in Canada and Asia. He also began researching and writing about the so-called poorest postal code in Canada; Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

He wrote his first nonfiction book in Canada, Bad Date: The Lost Girls of Vancouver’s Low Track, about the women who have gone missing from the Downtown Eastside over the past 15 years. Bad Date was published in November 2001. Some of his present entrepreneurial projects include an eco-tourism venture and a community volunteer consulting company.

Greene is an officer in the Seaforth Highlanders, a Vancouver-based primary reserve infantry unit, where his main duties are domestic emergency and disaster response, and community and civilian agency liaison. At time of writing he was also preparing for a six-month army deployment to Afghanistan in 2006 as part of Operation Archer.

Greene lives on a boat docked at Fisherman’s Wharf on Vancouver’s Granville Island. He speaks English, Japanese and French.

In 1993, while living in Japan, he’d written a critically-lauded book Bridge of Tears on the taboo subject of Japanese homelessness. Socially-conscious from the beginning, his latest project was a venture philanthropy initiative, encouraging fat cats to invest in Afghanistan’s rebuilding.

Bad DateIn 2001 his new book Bad Date:The Lost Girls of Vancouver’s Low Track, the first on the Missing Women case, had just come out to cautiously positive reviews. 

Over two years, Greene spent just about every day in the impoverished neighbourhood, eventually earning the trust of prostitutes, police and the families left behind. He paints a graphic picture of life in the ‘s most drug-addicted neighbourhood.

“What I was shocked at is the violence that is perpetrated on these women by normal, everyday johns every single day,” Greene said in an interview.

Nobody really wanted to be seen crowing about a book that laid out the fact that there was a serial killer on the loose in Vancouver. Unfortunately for Trevor Greene’s book (which I immediately bought because I was working on what I figured would be the SECOND book about the case), a few weeks after it came out Willy Pickton was arrested for those murders, essentially rendering Greene’s book, with its many theories and free-floating, faceless menace, obsolete.

I felt sorry for the lad.

A few months later, my friend Miss V asked me if I knew him; he’d applied for membership in her Social Empire. I said we’d never met, but that I knew his writing from the book as well as his social journalism pieces in the Georgia Straight, and he seemed like an earnest, educated, and interesting guy, not the fashionista A-List type (this was in the days before “metrosexual” was a term, but after it had become a lifestyle). No idea if she let him in or not, but smart money says yes.

Then, not one word from that time to this. Vancouver’s a small town. Six degrees of separation do not apply; six degrees do not exist. In this city, it’s two, at most three. Jounalists grow wary of chatting about stories, not for fear of being overheard and scooped, but because it’s quite likely that the barista, or the blonde at the next table, or someone else within earshot, is sleeping with/related to/BFF with the subject of the article.

Today, at the Shebeen Club, I found out the latest about Trevor Greene.

It happened in Shinkay. The man just can’t pick a good neighborhood.

Canadian Soldier Wounded in Afghan Ambush

The axe assault that badly injured a Canadian soldier was part of a deliberate ambush as troops met with village elders in southern Afghanistan, the military says.

Lieut. Trevor Greene, a journalist and former navy officer from Vancouver, suffered a serious head wound during the meeting near the small Canadian outpost at Gumbad, about 70 kilometres north of Kandahar.

Capt. Kevin Schamuhn, the commander who was leading the expedition, told CBC News that the Canadian troops had already visited several villages during the day to attend shuras, or meetings with village elders.

He said all of them had been peaceful events where they shared lunch or tea and introduced themselves.

The Canadians took off their helmets and put down their guns as they usually do to reassure villagers that they were friendly.

“There was no weird feelings. There was no gut feeling that something was about to go down. Everything was very calm and similar to the previous meetings.”

A minute later, a man who appeared to be less than 20 walked up behind Greene and pulled a half-metre-long axe out from underneath his clothes.

“He pulled an axe out from underneath his clothing and lifted right above his head, standing right behind Trevor,” said Schamuhn, who was sitting only about a metre away.

As he lifted up the axe, the man shouted “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is great” in Arabic.

Then, said Schamuhn, “he swung the axe into Trevor’s head.”

“He was just really set on helping these people and doing it right. He’s just really well-spoken and mature. …He was just really looking forward to helping these people.”

He was shipped out to a military hospital in Germany immediately, via Black Hawk helicopter. After two months in critical care there, one week ago he was transferred to Vancouver General Hospital.

The emotional father of a Canadian soldier seriously wounded in an axe attack in Afghanistan welcomed his son home Tuesday, saying he’s improving every day.

Richard Greene said his son, Trevor, has been breathing on his own for the past four days and even managed to move his legs while in hospital in Germany.

“That apparently has some significance and we believe it (does.) We’re confident he’ll recover completely,” said Greene. “He’s just received great care.”

Greene had to pause to compose himself.

He said his son has received e-mails of support from around the world. Greene read them to his comatose son in Germany.

Greene described Trevor as “quite a lad.”

Richard Greene said Trevor volunteered to go to Afghanistan and hoped he could later get some experience at the United Nations.

“We’re very proud of him,” said Greene. 

His writing partner has put up a page on their website for the media. I’ll paste it here, with a couple of spam-reducing edits.

A Message to the Media and Concerned Canadians

From Shane Gibson co-author and friend of Trevor Greene

Thank-you for all of your prayers and concern for Trevor at this time.  I have passed on your well wishes to his family and those closest to him.  At this time I will not be commenting on interviews in regards to Trevor’s situation until he and his family give me the okay.His family is busy praying and hoping for the best and I will forward any requests to make statements or comments directly to them.  Just drop an e-mail to shane at closingbigger dot com. At this time I have been asked not to disclose their contact details.Trevor is very professional in everything he does.  This includes keeping in the strictest confidence the nature of his military responsibilities and past experiences while serving our country.  Your best source of information is from the Department of National Defense.Here’s what I can be quoted on:
“Trevor is a talented author, an amazing Dad and partner, the kind of person you can count on always. He is deeply committed to protecting and preserving the freedoms we enjoy as Canadians.”

Kindest Regards,

Shane Gibson

Trevor Greene

6 thoughts on “it’s a small, nasty world, after all

  1. it’s a small brain dump

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    hey you

    Raincoaster says:

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    how’s tricks

    Raincoaster says:
    It’s okay. I’m a bit down because I got some bad news

    Mistress Cowfish says:

    Raincoaster says:
    Check the blog now. I just finished.

    Mistress Cowfish says:

    Raincoaster says:
    It’s not MY bad news. It’s just that I sort of know the guy…very distant arm’s length though, which almost makes it like I don’t have the right to be upset

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    you have every right to your feelings

    Raincoaster says:
    But this is not about me. He’s not a friend of mine, he’s just basically someone who was my competition in the Missing Women Book Stakes

    Raincoaster says:
    But I’m still very upset. I don’t understand why, but I am.

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    every day people are killed or wounded in the ‘line of fire’

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    having one be REAL maybe makes it more immediate

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    not just a name, a number, an anonymous nobody

    Raincoaster says:
    Perhaps. But I think it’s because it’s so distant. If it were a friend, I’d be overwhelmed with the feelings you have naturally about your friend. These are not those kinds of feelings

    Raincoaster says:
    It’s like when that guy was murdered at Starbucks. I got very upset. I had never met him either.

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    it’s the senselessness

    Raincoaster says:
    Ah, I know what it is now. It just came to me

    Raincoaster says:

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    i mean, axed

    Mistress Cowfish says:

    Raincoaster says:
    It’s that I identified with this man. These are feelings of “it could have been me; this was my peer”

    Mistress Cowfish says:

    Raincoaster says:
    It’s as if, in a parallel universe, the me died

    Raincoaster says:
    It’s not egotistical, it’s about the peer-ness

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    it could have been me, you, defending that person at the starbucks

    Raincoaster says:

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    ’cause you would have

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    so would i

    Raincoaster says:

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    and this IS a situation of 6 degrees of separation…

    Raincoaster says:

    Raincoaster says:
    I know Miss V, who knows him

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    no, you wouldn’t have gone into the army…but he could have been you

    Mistress Cowfish says:
    if that makes sense

    Raincoaster says:
    I thought about going into the army, but you can’t volunteer to be just a peacekeeper, so I didn’t

  2. Pingback: a salute to the troops « raincoaster

  3. Pingback: Fundraiser for Trevor Greene tonight! « running through rain

  4. You ‘thought’ about going into the Army? Bullshit. You’re a puss, not fit to carry Captain Greene’s jockstrap.

  5. Pingback: The Fallen « raincoaster

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