Lt. Andrew Nuttall’s dedication to his job and family reflect his belief in a Peter McWilliams quote: “In reality, serendipity accounts for one per cent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 per cent is due to our hard efforts.” Andrew worked hard, but knew how to balance that with a love of family, sports and the outdoors.
Andrew was often heard telling those around him to “live life to the fullest” and he lived this motto himself. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved hiking, camping, biking, swimming, surfing, snowboarding and long distance running. He was also a born athlete who excelled at hockey, basketball and boxing. Athletics gave Andrew the opportunity to travel across northern Canada where he developed a keen sense of adventure.
Andrew balanced these physical activities with amateur photography, choir, Scouts and Air Cadets. He especially appreciated connecting with friends through travel. He followed world events, spent time learning about international affairs and looked after his family and friends.
Andrew studied engineering and computer sciences at the University of Victoria. After university he worked in the computer field and helped in the family business. Eventually, he went to work at Crossfit Vancouver as a trainer where he met several people from the military. The relationships he developed helped him see what a good fit the military would be for his skills and interests.
Andrew’s family says he was “characterized by an easy, selfless, outgoing, generous and loving personality. He was always ready to help his fellow man, debate world issues, and support family and friends.” His desire to change the world for the better is apparent in his long-time contributions to Plan International Canada. It was also this desire that led him to enlist, and he took these values to Afghanistan.
Andrew enlisted on March 29, 2007. Before he left for Afghanistan, he attended church with his parents. When the pastor asked what Andrew’s job in the military would be, he replied, “To help the Afghan people.”
Andrew had a good relationship with his men. He was overheard saying, “Don’t call me Sir, call me Nutts.” He used his skills to encourage them to better themselves through play, health and fitness. Through his strength as a leader, Andrew helped form the men and women he worked with into one of the most tightly knit platoons that worked every day to protect the vulnerable who had nobody else to turn to. Until the end of his journey, Andrew continued to make positive changes wherever he went.
By Rhonda Kronyk