Canadian solders carry the casket of Pte. Kevin McKay of the Edmonton-based 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), on Friday at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Photo by The Canadian Press
The body of Pte. Kevin Thomas McKay, killed Thursday in Afghanistan, is to return to Canadian soil this afternoon.
McKay, 24, of Richmond Hill, Ont., was killed by a homemade landmine while on a night patrol near the village of Nakhoney, 15 southwest of Kandahar City, in an area that the Canadians had taken from the Taliban several months ago.
His body is scheduled to arrive 2 p.m. local time at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in eastern Ontario, met by Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk.
McKay, known to his platoon as "Mickey," died while on what the military calls a "presence patrol" designed to disrupt insurgents. He was on his first tour in Afghanistan.
The grief at his death was particularly profound because after nearly seven months in-country the young infantryman was due to fly home within days.
McKay of the Alberta-based 1st battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry was the 144th Canadian Forces member to die in Afghanistan since the first combat mission began early in 2002. He was the sixth Canadian to die in Afghanistan this year.