Dead soldier identified as armoured officer
August 31, 2007
The Canadian soldier who died of a gunshot wound this week in a secure compound in Kabul was Major Raymond Ruckpaul, a 41-year-old armoured officer who was working at the International Security Force to Afghanistan (ISAF) headquarters.
Major Ruckpaul died yesterday morning at ISAF's secure compound. He was found in his room injured by a gunshot wound. Efforts to save him failed, and he was pronounced dead about an hour later.
Major Ruckpaul was based at the NATO Allied Land Component Command Headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany.
The military did not identify Major Ruckpaul's regiment or home town.
The death is now under investigation by the military's National Investigation Service, which probes all cases of serious injury.
Only enemy action, because he was found within the perimeter of the compound, has been ruled out.
Major Ruckpaul's 55 colleagues at the headquarters held a memorial service for him yesterday, and a small ramp ceremony for him today.
John Ruckpaul, a second cousin of the dead soldier, remembered a man who was destined to be in the army.
"He had the right attitude and he loved it," the 71-year-old retired airman said from Kingston yesterday.
Major Ruckpaul grew up in Hamilton and attended McMaster University. He had been interested in the military since he was a young teenager, and after his first year at university, he entered the Regular Officer Training Plan.
"He was really an army type. He was fitted for the army. ... He knew where he was going; he had direction," Mr. Ruckpaul said.
Major Ruckpaul had been stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, where he met his wife and had a son and daughter.
Mr. Ruckpaul said he did not believe there was any chance his cousin was suicidal.
"He kept himself physically fit. Sound body, sound mind."
Major Raymond Ruckpaul, an armoured officer based at the NATO Allied Land Component Command Headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany who was serving in Kabul, Afghanistan with the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters (ISAF HQ), died on 29 August 2007. He was found significantly injured within the confines of the ISAF HQ in Kabul and later died of his injuries. The matter is under investigation by ISAF authorities and the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service
Statement by the Minister of National Defence
The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, issued the following statement today on the death of Major Raymond Ruckpaul:"I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Major Raymond Ruckpaul who died in Afghanistan. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.This is a challenging mission, but Canada's government is showing international leadership by working alongside our international partners and standing up for something that is just. We are committed to helping the Afghan people achieve peace and stability and rebuild their country and its institutions."
"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Major Raymond Ruckpaul who died yesterday in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Major Ruckpaul was serving as part of an international coalition working to bring peace and security to Afghanistan. The Government of Canada stands proudly with our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen as they strive to make a difference in this war torn country."
If you'd like to leave share a memory of Major Ruckpaul, visit: http://www.respectance.com/