OWRAM email@example.com_county.london.london_free_press 2007-07-15 published
DAWE remembered as dedicated soldier
By Kristine OWRAM, Canadian Press, Sun., July 15, 2007
Canadian Forces Base Kingston -- Capt. Matthew DAWE was remembered yesterday as a generous friend, a passionate family man and a dedicated soldier who died doing what he believed in.
DAWE was killed July 4, along with five other Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter, when their armoured vehicle struck a roadside bomb near Kandahar City.
DAWE's extended family, military supporters and members of the public gathered at a sports complex in Canadian Forces Base Kingston for a funeral service honouring the 27-year-old.
Prior to the service, a funeral procession wound its way toward the complex. Soldiers and cadets marched in time to the music of bagpipers and drummers, who were followed by the hearse carrying DAWE's casket and, finally, his wife Tara, his two-year-old son Lucas, and the rest of his immediate family. As the family passed, DAWE's father stooped to pick up Lucas, who was struggling to keep up, and lifted him onto his shoulders.
As the procession entered the complex, the crowd of more 2,000 fell silent as they watched the pallbearers carry DAWE's flag-draped casket to the altar.
DAWE's best friend Lt. Reggie McMICHAEL, his three brothers, his parents and his wife were all invited to speak during the service.
DAWE's three older brothers -- Philip, Peter and James, all members of the Canadian Armed Forces -- remembered him as a man who shone in the face of adversity. But they admitted that even they were surprised at the outpouring of support they have received from the public since their brother's death.
"My brothers and I have one regret as far as our relationship with Matt is concerned," said Philip.
"It is the testimonials that we have read and heard over the past 10 days, and the fact that they've provided us with a glimpse of the man who our kid brother had become. We wish so badly that we could have spent more time with this terrific guy."
They added that the three of them will do whatever is needed to support DAWE's wife and son.
"We love our brother very much and we promised Tara that she'll never have to worry about tying a pair of skates or teaching Lucas how to throw a spiral," said Peter. "Lucas will always be a DAWE boy, just like his daddy would have liked it."
DAWE's father Peter, a retired lieutenant-colonel, remembered his son as a man who would "laugh as conditions got harder."
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