Kevin Dallaire was born in Calgary to Diane and Gaetan Dallaire, both from military backgrounds. He grew up in Cold Lake with his younger brother Mikael, who later followed in Kevin’s footsteps by joining the military in October 2010. Also part of the family was Shadow, a golden retriever, who died one week before Kevin. Shadow let a young, adoring Kevin dress him up in socks and sweaters. As kind as Kevin was, he was sharp, too. He received a special, new loonie when he was little, and after his aunt expressed interest in it, Kevin told her she could have it for two of her ordinary loonies.

Growing up, Kevin was exceptionally introverted, focused, and serious—he even took playing at recess seriously! Kevin stood up to bullies for his friends and walked them home whenever they needed to be protected. When teachers weren’t looking, Kevin would still be focused on his schoolwork while his classmates goofed around. As a great observer and listener, Kevin liked learning the basics, but never read a line more than was necessary at school. He was an independent boy that wasn’t fond of instructions. Kevin enjoyed figure skating, karate, and Beavers, but did not like being told how it was done, and instead did these activities to his own satisfaction. He was a fast learner, specifically when he practiced his break-dance moves to prepare for a school event—the result was incredible. On his own, Kevin was even involved in the school fashion show, lighting up the stage all the way.

At the suggestion of his father, Kevin made the easy decision to join the military right out of École Sainte Marguerite Bourgeoys High School so that he could see the world outside of Alberta. And he did—Kevin fought fires in BC and trained in the USA before embarking to Afghanistan on his first big deployment. Kevin worked his hardest to be his best, and was wholly dedicated to his career as a soldier. Quiet, well-balanced, and extremely fit, Kevin answered to the apt nicknames “slim” or the “Silent Frenchman.” Because of Kevin’s outstanding conduct and devotion to duty, he received the Mention in Dispatches Award. The military held Kevin in high esteem for his strength and dedication, and considered him for a highly respected and specialized level of duty called the Joint Task Force. Kevin was honoured to be invited to serve in this special task, but sadly, he died before it could come to fruition.

Kevin was a Canadian hero, who wanted to come home and have a cold beer with his family. This valiant Alberta boy of few words never changed. When he set his mind to something, he did it well and wholeheartedly. Kevin was a little soldier with a big heart and a man of great strength with a modest ego. He was a private man known for his serious, focused, dependable nature.

By Kaylen L. Small

Portrait by Shairl Honey