Pte. Kevin McKay, 24, killed by IED blast in southern Afghanistan

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -

A Canadian soldier who was scheduled to conclude his deployment in southern Afghanistan in a few days has been killed by an improvised explosive device in a volatile region of the war-torn country.
Pte. Kevin McKay from the Edmonton-based 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry died in an IED blast about 15 kilometres southwest of Kandahar city.
The 24-year-old native of Richmond Hill, Ont., was on a foot patrol in the Panjwaii district village of Nakhonay at 8 p.m. local time Thursday at the time of the explosion.
Col. Simon Hetherington, the deputy commander of Task Force Kandahar, said McKay embodied the gritty spirit of the typical Canadian soldier.
"He was the type of soldier that Canadians must think of when they think of their army in Afghanistan - the tough, courageous infantryman, living in austere conditions and doing incredibly difficult work," Hetherington said Friday.
"His platoon brothers and friends will remember Kevin, better known as 'Mickey' to his buddies, as a generous man, dependable, with a quick wit and a great sense of humour that was exemplified by his awesome moustache."
Hetherington spoke on behalf of Brig.-Gen. Dan Menard, who is on leave.
He said McKay was short in stature but had no trouble dishing it out to his bigger military comrades.
"While not a tall man, he had no difficulty in poking fun and taunting those less vertically challenged platoon mates," Hetherington said.
McKay is the sixth Canadian military member to die in Afghanistan this year and the 144th killed as part of the Afghan mission since it began in 2002.
Two civilians - diplomat Glyn Berry and journalist Michelle Lang - have also died.
The Canadian military didn't say whether anyone was injured in Thursday's blast as it no longer releases information on those wounded on the battlefield.
McKay's death comes as hundreds of people prepare to gather in Halifax to remember the first Canadian sailor to be killed in the Afghanistan conflict.
A memorial service will be held for 37-year-old Petty Officer (second class) Craig Blake, who was killed by an IED on May 3, also in the Panjwaii district.
The entire district, the cradle of the Taliban, has been a bloody battleground for Canadian troops since they arrived in the province of Kandahar in strength four years ago. Villages and towns have been repeatedly cleared, only to see the Taliban reassert itself by stealth.

Organizations: Canadian Light Infantry, Taliban

Geographic location: KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Southern Afghanistan Richmond Hill Halifax

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • well
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    jimmy i agree with you , we are over there right in the middle of what the US started once again, And you know Canada didnt have the guts to say no to the US

  • Frank M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Jimmy Mac:

    Well said.

  • Jimmy Mac
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    We are trying to impose peace on a country that has never known it and does not want it. This entire region has a culture of war and is not worth the life of one single Canadian, US, or other coalition soldier. Get them the hell out of there.

  • doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Gerry- There are people there who do not want us there, it's their country, not ours. How would you like it if they invaded Canada and IMPOSED their beliefs on us!. Regardless of your comments it does not justify the killing of our men/women when we will be pulling out in 2011. What do you think will happen when all forces move out of Afghanistan, it will go back to the way it was, the Russians tried it for 10-12 years and it was left worse than before their INVASION. We, all Canadians have invaded another country, which is using our children as fodder.

  • Gerry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I call BS.
    -There are people there who want PEACE. -There are people there who want their daughters to be able to go to school without having to worry about acid being thrown in their face.
    -There are people there who don't want to see their daughters forced into marriages when they are 12, then raped & pregnant by 13!
    -There are people there who want to see their mothers, wives & daughters treated as humans and not cattle.
    -There are people their who want to see a just & fair system of law without seeing their Women folk stoned to death in a decrepid soccer stadium because she supposedly broke their twisted version of a religious passage.
    -There are people there who want their children to receive an education & not be forced feed & brain-washed by their twisted version of religion.
    -Most people there who want a fair democratically elected government based on their culture & beliefs.
    -There are people HERE in & out of uniform who beleive in basic human rights for everyone; ask most anyone who has been there or who has had a loved one there.
    -do some research

  • well
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    jimmy i agree with you , we are over there right in the middle of what the US started once again, And you know Canada didnt have the guts to say no to the US

  • Frank M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Jimmy Mac:

    Well said.

  • Jimmy Mac
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    We are trying to impose peace on a country that has never known it and does not want it. This entire region has a culture of war and is not worth the life of one single Canadian, US, or other coalition soldier. Get them the hell out of there.

  • doug
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Gerry- There are people there who do not want us there, it's their country, not ours. How would you like it if they invaded Canada and IMPOSED their beliefs on us!. Regardless of your comments it does not justify the killing of our men/women when we will be pulling out in 2011. What do you think will happen when all forces move out of Afghanistan, it will go back to the way it was, the Russians tried it for 10-12 years and it was left worse than before their INVASION. We, all Canadians have invaded another country, which is using our children as fodder.

  • Gerry
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I call BS.
    -There are people there who want PEACE. -There are people there who want their daughters to be able to go to school without having to worry about acid being thrown in their face.
    -There are people there who don't want to see their daughters forced into marriages when they are 12, then raped & pregnant by 13!
    -There are people there who want to see their mothers, wives & daughters treated as humans and not cattle.
    -There are people their who want to see a just & fair system of law without seeing their Women folk stoned to death in a decrepid soccer stadium because she supposedly broke their twisted version of a religious passage.
    -There are people there who want their children to receive an education & not be forced feed & brain-washed by their twisted version of religion.
    -Most people there who want a fair democratically elected government based on their culture & beliefs.
    -There are people HERE in & out of uniform who beleive in basic human rights for everyone; ask most anyone who has been there or who has had a loved one there.
    -do some research