The family of a local medic and reservist killed last week in Afghanistan is thankful for the outpouring of support from across the country.

Widow Nicole Starker and sister Carolyn Straub both spoke of 36-year-old Michael Starker yesterday with warm thoughts and were thankful for the kind words of strangers.

“The whole family has been strong for each other … but the overwhelming support of Calgarians and Canadians has been overwhelming,” Starker told reporters.


Starker and Straub remembered their fallen hero yesterday not with tears but with fond memories and sporadic smiles.

“He was a great man, a great husband, a great brother … even though he was my little brother, I looked up to him and admired him … he liked to tease me,” his sister said. “It’s affected our family deeply. No parents should have to bury their child.”

Starker was remembered as the kind of guy who could walk into a room of strangers and walk out with many new friends, his sister added.

Perhaps most telling of the Starker family strength was the poise in which his widow and sister took the podium for reporters.

“I support Canada as a peacekeeping nation and what happened to Mike hasn’t changed that for me,” Starker told reporters.

The public funeral for the fallen soldier is Friday at 2 p.m. with the procession starting at the city hall and ending at the Roundup Centre.

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