Military investigates fatal incident
An Edmonton soldier has been found dead in his quarters at the Edmonton Garrison, hours after hundreds of mourners had laid to rest one of his comrades in a military funeral.
"We extend our heartfelt sympathies to his surviving family," Cpt. Mark Peebles, a military spokesman at the base, said yesterday. "We’re going to do everything we can to support them in this tragic situation."
The soldier was found dead on Saturday afternoon but the military did not release the information until yesterday. He had not been recently overseas on a mission.
His name and age will not be released until an investigation into his death is completed by the military, Peebles said. The Canadian Forces National Investigation Unit is now determining if his death is non-criminal.
Peebles said the fatal incident is hitting soldiers hard and he can’t remember the last time someone died at the base.
"Any death on base is a hit to the military family here," he said. "It’s something that we’re still just trying to digest right now."
On Saturday, a full military funeral was held for Trooper Michael Yuki Hayakaze, killed by a homemade bomb in Afghanistan during a routine resupply mission.
The 25-year-old was a member of the Edmonton Garrison’s Lord Strathcona’s Horse Regiment and was days away from completing a six-month deployment. About 60 members of his tank squadron arrived home early yesterday morning.
Military pallbearers, dressed in the Strathcona’s traditional black hats, carried his flag-draped coffin to his final resting place in north Edmonton.
His family released a statement to the media, saying he floundered after high school until he found a greater purpose in the military.
"Once he joined the army," his mother, Machiko Inoue said, "I felt he started to live his life to the fullest again, as if a fish out of water had been returned to the water."
"I assume he must have had some bad days here and there, but everything he said about the life in the army was so positive that Mikey’s face glowed with joy."
Hayakaze was the 79th Canadian soldier, and the 21st Edmonton-based soldier, to die in Afghanistan since the mission began in 2002.