Our deceased and brave soldier is Sergeant Jason Boyes, age 32, 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI), based out of Shilo, Manitoba.
At the time of the incident, the soldier's unit was conducting a dismounted presence patrol in the area with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). These patrols are part of the many ways ANSF and ISAF show their presence, monitor the security situation and interact with the local population.This incident will not deter us from continuing our work with the Government and the people of Afghanistan. Incidents like this one prove that, along with our Afghan National Security Force partners, Canadians need to continue working to bring about peace and security in the region.
Lt.-Col. Dave Corbould, commander of Boyes' battle group, said the soldier was "a committed warrior." Boyes was "a leader through and through," he said. "He was someone we can all emulate. He represented the warrior spirit 100 per cent."
Regimental Sgt.-Maj. Brian Semenko also described Boyes as a committed soldier. He said he had talked a lot about the mission with Boyes over the past few years.
"He was really dedicated to the idea of serving overseas," Semenko said. "He felt the best way to serve was to do it overseas. His idea was not to give candy to children, but to kill insurgents."
Laroche said Boyes had arrived in the last few weeks with a new rotation of troops.
"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of our lost comrade in this very difficult time," he said. "We have lost a brother and a fine soldier who answered a call of duty one last time."
In a statement issued by the military, Boyes' family said they are "devastated" by the news.
"Jason loved his job, he loved the military and his fellow soldiers loved him back. His world was his 2 year old daughter, Mackenzie, his wife, Alison, his dogs and his family," the statement said.
"This was his third tour in Afghanistan. We have always, and still do, support this mission."
Boyes was born in Lynn Lake, Man., but was raised in Camden East and attended Napanee District Secondary School before joining the army in his early 20s. His parents now live in Kingston.
Boyes spoke to the Whig-Standard in 2002 during his first deployment to Afghanistan about the physical hardships of soldiering in that country.
"We pretty much stay out of the sun and drink water constantly," he said from Kandahar.
Then a corporal, Boyes had just returned from a five-day mission clearing caves of Taliban in the mountains in blazing summer heat while carrying 100 kilograms of gear, the last 30 hours without food or water because it was too dangerous to be resupplied.
"It was rough," he said, but he noted the soldiers accomplished their mission and credited the Canadian military's training for their ability to operate there.
"It just seems we're more hardy than our American counterparts ... It's all in the way we're trained," he said. "I like the way we do things. I take pride in that."
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 a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan:"I would like to offer my most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sergeant Jason Boyes who died tragically yesterday in Afghanistan.Sergeant Boyes was an extremely brave Canadian who made the ultimate sacrifice while proudly serving his country. This is a tragic loss for the Canadian Forces and all of Canada.Sergeant Boyes was killed by an explosive device while on a foot patrol in the Zanghabad region, in Panjwayi district. These patrols are part of the many ways that members of the Canadian Forces show their presence, monitor the security situation and interact with the local population. The efforts of Canada's soldiers are making a difference in southern Afghanistan and their sustained presence in the region will allow for reconstruction and development to continue.Sergeant Jason Boyes was a member of the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian light infantry, based in Shilo Manitoba.
Statement by Stephen Harper:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his "deepest condolences to the loved ones of Sgt. Jason Boyes." In a statement Monday afternoon, Harper said Boyes was "a well- respected member of the Canadian Forces" and "an exceptionally brave soldier who deserves the support and gratitude of all Canadians."
Statement by Governor General Michaëlle Jean
Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean said Boyes "deserves our respect and admiration" and offered condolences to his family and fellow soldiers.
"We share your grief and honour his memory," Jean said in a statement.