As an outgoing and friendly guy-next-door, Darryl Caswell had many friends including people at church and war veterans.

Growing up, Darryl wanted to try everything and loved to challenge himself, like when in boot camp he went sky diving for the first time, daring and full of excitement. He enjoyed video games, but mostly he was adventurous, fearless, a life-long daredevil. He got his first motorcycle when he was 10 years of age and a few more since then. Darryl liked speed and with his army buddy Patrick Pentland did a lot of riding. In the summer of 2006, he got a warning from his superiors after he’d got another speeding ticket, so Darryl set aside his motorcycle for a while!

Like so many other young men, Darryl had been a bit of a handful growing up in Bowmanville, ON. But he was also reasonable and appreciative. Before going to Afghanistan, he told his parents that if they had not been so hard on him he would not be the man he was. To Darryl, his father was his hero, and they were very close.

Darryl was unique. He was a young man of high morals, someone who chose what was right for him, regardless of the opinions of others, and in his early 20s he spontaneously sought out a church with which he felt comfortable and started to attend regularly.

He was a very good writer who wrote often to his parents and his cherished brother and sister, encouraging them to do their best and to have faith in themselves. He kept a journal in which he often referred to his motto: “If in a man’s lifetime he finds nothing he would die for, then he was never worthy.”

Family gatherings were important to Darryl, as was showing respect to older people. He took the time to visit his ailing grandfather while in uniform knowing how much that would please him. He also went regularly to the local Legion and had a few beers with the vets, listening attentively to their stories. He had a very good heart and was most caring and loyal towards family and friends.

After high school Darryl wanted to become a police officer and attended his first year of college before determining that that was not for him. Because Darryl liked to challenge authority figures, his parents were surprised when he chose to join the Forces, and he embraced this new life with enthusiasm. Darryl was extremely pleased with his decision and his new responsibilities.

Darryl was a man of honour. His love of people and adventure, his pleasant and easy way with older people as well as youth, made him popular and welcome wherever he went.

Nicole Beaudoin

Portrait by Cindy Revell