Greg Kruse was a proud Canadian. He was a dedicated soldier, award-winning and decorated, who was grateful for the many opportunities he enjoyed with the military. He spent most of his military career at CF Base Gagetown in New Brunswick, before being posted to CFB Petawawa in Ontario in 2007. He was awarded the Canadian Forces’ Decoration, the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, and the Special Service Medal.

Greg was born in New Brunswick but grew up in Gaspé, QC, where he often returned to enjoy his summer holidays at the beach with family and friends.

A fun-loving and even-tempered youngster, Greg liked building and often questioned those around him about how things worked. He was curious and loved learning. His interests included experiencing nature in all seasons, history and geography. He enjoyed playing basketball in high school and his teammates called him “Hawk”. Greg also appreciated art and architecture.

He wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. He volunteered with New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue where he helped with many searches including one where he helped locate a missing child.

Greg felt the best way for him to make a difference was to join the military. He joined the Canadian Forces as a Combat Engineer in 1989. His military work in Canada involved assisting with many disasters, including the ice storm in Quebec, the Red River flood in Winnipeg and the Oka crisis in Quebec. Tours of duty took him to Croatia, Bosnia, East Africa and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan he served as a Section Commander with 24 Field Squadron, 2 Combat Engineer Regiment.

Greg was a respected leader, often called upon to listen and give advice. He shared his vast knowledge with everyone around the world, as required. He planned ahead for his career, which rewarded him with professional success.

In his personal life, Greg’s thoughtfulness was apparent in his planning and occasional surprises. He was a kind and gentle man who always attended to his family’s security and wellbeing. A devoted husband and father, Greg’s greatest joy was spending time with his wife Jill and their three daughters. Weekends were family time, and he and his family often took the time to do things together like biking through the park, visiting friends and relatives, or exploring a trail in the woods.

Greg also loved to socialize with friends and loved food. Comrades on mission would have to look no further than the kitchen to find him charming goodies out of the cook. He was known for his sweet tooth; some of his favourites were chocolate chip cookies, brownies and steamed chocolate pudding. Greg was a good cook and enjoyed preparing delicious holiday meals and desserts for his family.

Standing at 6’3”, Greg was a tall, strong man, a dedicated and confident hero. He was committed, even in the face of danger. Soldiers, friends, and family alike counted on him as a loyal and honourable member of their team.

Greg left a great legacy for his family, his comrades, the Canadian people, and the world. He will be missed by all who knew him and had their lives enriched because of knowing him.

By Jill Kruse

Portrait by Susan Abma