Justin Boyes was an intuitive trailblazer with a dry sense of humour who never stopped learning. With his thoughtful, observant, and focused disposition, Justin always took it upon himself to be the responsible one. A solid friend, he was loyal to a fault at times, standing up for others who were unfairly picked on at the playground. Justin, an avid reader, was introspective and loved learning. His interest in the military was first sparked by his involvement in Air Cadets. As a university student, he studied Canada’s role in conflicts like Rwanda and his passion for the military was deepened. Justin was a respectful young man who sought his parents’ guidance. His parents knew it meant the world to him to join the military, and, with their approval, Justin was well on his way to achieving his dream career.

After growing up in Saskatoon, Justin graduated from Evan Hardy Collegiate. He played the trumpet in the school band while being on his high school football team, sharing in the victory of the 2001 Provincial High School Football Championship plus winning that year’s award for male leadership. Known as an artsy guy, Justin portrayed Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music for a school play, serenading the audience with “Edelweiss.” He even won awards for his drawing abilities! As for hobbies, Justin was a huge Star Trek fan, enjoyed playing baseball, and was skilled at building miniature models, specifically of cars. Justin exemplified versatility, whether he was playing in band class, running on the field, or acting on stage. Only once did the principle call this exemplary student’s home: Justin had taken off his shirt on the playground, but simply because he did not want it to get muddy!

Justin proudly paid for his education at the U of S working as a reservist with the North Saskatchewan Regiment. He served his first tour of duty in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2006, ecstatic that he got the opportunity to be immersed in such a rich history. When he came back home, he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies and dove right into a full-time military career in 2007, taking second language training in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QB, and Officer training at CFB Gagetown, NB. Justin was granted his Queen’s Commission in 2007 to serve as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Canadian Infantry. In 2008, Justin received his first posting as a platoon commander with the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based in Edmonton.

Always patient and gentle, Justin was a loving husband to Alanna and father to their two-year-old son, James. He had open arms and open ears; the love was always near. The career Justin chose epitomized his values of hard work, dedication, commitment, and perseverance. He gave 100 per cent in each decision, expressing himself through music, knowledge, drawing, sports, and his family. Whether it was leading a combat operation, doing house renovations, or changing a diaper, Justin always knew what to do, making him a gallant yet modest 21st century warrior.

By: Kaylen Small

Portrait by Shairl Honey