Michael was born in Peterborough Ont. December 03 1980. As a child Michael was a good kid, very easy going and was never bothered by much of anything. Michael accepted life as it came, went with the flow and enjoyed every minute of it. Michael was a small built child and was often teased in school, but he always held his own. During these years Michael became fixated with aircraft in particular military aircraft.

At the age of 12 Michael joined the local Air Cadets the 534 Raiders Squadron and continued with them till age 18. Here he found his calling wanting to be in the air force.

As a teenager the computer became one of his many hobbies, using this to gain more knowledge of the air force and its aircraft.

After finishing school and Air Cadets Michael tried many different jobs, but this wasn’t where his heart was. At 25 he was accepted into the Canadian Armed Forces, and on Oct 1st 2005 Michael began his basic training. Even though this wasn’t his preferred area it was his foot in the door in hope of transferring later to the Air Force. This was what put a smile on his face being in the career he was meant for.

One of Michael’s childhood friends had also enlisted and was accepted three years earlier. When Michael finished his basic training he was sent to CFB Petawawa to begin what he always wanted. At the same time his friend was also transferred to CFB Petawawa for his second term and training. Their friendship continued and it was noted that Michael always went to work with a smile on his face.

Michael’s first course was learning how to drive the LAV 3. This seemed odd as Michael didn’t even have a driver’s license for a car.

Michael was also one for practical jokes, and in turn many were played on him where his platoon mates would give him miss information on what gear he was to show up in the next day in the parade square. Three days in one week he was seen in opposite gear to everyone else. This however wasn’t as funny when he was given extra duties for the weekend, but this never bothered him as it had given many others a smile and a memory that will last forever.

Michael was a huge fan of the outdoors. He loved camping, fishing, paintball, and scuba diving just to name a few. He spent much of his down time enjoying these things.

Michael’s tour of Afghanistan began in early Sept 2008. While there when they had some down time Michael set up a driving range from the perimeter wall of their Forward Operating Base (FOB). Golfing was another one of Michael’s pastimes. He and other members of his platoon would drive the balls out into the fields around the FOB where the local children would collect and return the balls and exchange them for food, water, and items we had sent over for them to exchange with.

Following Michael’s death his friends and family started a yearly memorial golf tournament where the funds go towards a camp for underprivileged and military family children. Camp Maple Leaf was set up by Veterans from WW1 & WW2 in 1955 in which Michael’s great grandfather was one of the founding members. A large deck on a new building overlooking the lake at the camp has been dedicated in Michael’s memory.

A memorial has been set in place at the Legion in Omemee Ont. in memory of Michael and Cpl Mark McLaren who died three week prior to Michael and both had attended school there.

Michael’s wish in the event of his death was to be buried at home. Michael is interred at Rosemount Memorial Gardens in Peterborough. Even now with Michael’s passing he continues to help those in need.

Always loved and remember for his easy going, and giving nature. Always missed by Mom, Dad and Sister Kelly.

By Mark and Gail Freeman

Portrait by Susan Abma