In a show of support for Nova Scotia’s troops in Afghanistan, Premier Rodney MacDonald presented Rear Admiral Dean McFadden, commander of Joint Atlantic Task Force and Maritime Forces Atlantic, with tokens of thanks for the troops. The presentation followed a cabinet briefing, today, Aug. 30, on the Afghanistan situation. The rear admiral was joined by Brig.-Gen. Richard Parsons, commander, land forces Atlantic area, and Col. Douglas Neill, commander Maritime air component (Atlantic). The premier praised Nova Scotia’s longstanding positive relationship with the Canadian Forces, the military’s positive contribution to Nova Scotia’s society and economy, and then moved to talk about the Nova Scotians currently deployed in Afghanistan. “We want to tell the troops in Afghanistan that we are proud of them, and wish them success in their mission and a safe return to their homes in Nova Scotia,” said Premier MacDonald. The premier’s concern for the troops’ welfare and communicating this message was clearly the purpose of the meeting. “Our hearts go out to the brave Nova Scotians entwined in this conflict,” said the premier. The gift packages, wrapped in Nova Scotia tartan, contain several small Nova Scotia-related items. As a constant reminder to the troops each package contains a camouflage-green T-shirt with words and flag identifying the wearer as a Nova Scotian.