Canadian Forces soldiers salute as the coffin bearing the body of Gunner Jonathan Dion is loaded on a plane during an early morning ramp ceremony Monday at Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan.Photograph Courtesy of: Cpl. Daniel Merrell, Department of National Defence
The family of private Jonathan Dion killed in service in Afghanistan on December the 30th 2007, wishes to make public the following declaration:
It is never easy for parents to lose a child. We are devastated by the death of Jonathan who, with dignity, gave up his life serving his country with honour and pride alongside his brothers in arms in Afghanistan. We are extremely proud of our son and of what he accomplished during his life including his career in the Canadian Armed Forces. It will be his distinctive smile and his joie de vivre which will remain in our minds as we think of him. He loved being a soldier and loved being in the company of brothers and sisters in arms.
Jonathan had found his rightful place in the Canadian Forces. He was maturing rapidly and showed that he was living life to the fullest and was developing his full potential. He was an example to all of his family and he was a great brother. Since he passionately believed in his mission in Afghanistan we supported him when he volunteered for this mission. Quite recently he was telling us he would like to return should there be a second tour.
Jonathan lived the major part of his life in the city of Gatineau. He loved his city, his small part of the country, and his neighbourhood. He wanted more than anything else to make a difference in the world around him. He died doing what he loved best, to be a soldier and serve his country.
Lise Marcil, mother of killed soldier Jonathan Dion, is consoled by friends and relatives during a ceremony for her son at CFB Trenton on Wednesday. I cannot imagine the anguish she is feeling - my heart cries for her and Jonathan Dion's family at this time. My prayers are with you.The body of Gunner Jonathan Dion, a soldier from Val-d'Or, Que., who was killed in southern Afghanistan, arrived at a military base in southeastern Ontario on Wednesday.
A transport plane carrying Dion's body unloaded the flag-draped coffin around 2 p.m. ET at Canadian Forces Base Trenton. Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Gen. Rick Hillier, Canada's chief of defence staff, joined Dion's family in a repatriation ceremony.
In a statement issued Monday, Dion's family said they were devastated by his death.
"It will be his distinctive smile and his joie de vivre which will remain in our minds as we think of him," said the family.
"He loved being a soldier and loved being in the company of brothers and sisters in arms."