Sgt. Marc Leger’s laugh could be heard a mile away! A huge, heartfelt laugh as big as the man himself. At 6’4” with a zest for life he was hard to miss. Wise and thoughtful for his age, people were drawn to Marc. Maybe they knew he was the real deal, how he lived his life fully, or the fact he was a true friend, devoted husband, true romantic, who loved life, his job, his family, and his yellow lab Hunter, who was never far from his side.

Marc enlisted at 19 years of age. His career with the 3PPCLI and Canadian Airborne was a huge sense of pride for him.

In February 2002, Marc was deployed to Afghanistan. Two months later, on April 17, 2002, Leger along with three other soldiers became Canada’s first deaths in Afghanistan and the first in a combat zone since the Korean War. Eight others were injured that night. Marc was 29.

In the days that followed Canada learned more about how much Marc cared for others. It was on display during his work as a peacekeeper in the Livno Valley, Bosnia. The area had been ethnically cleansed and those who remained were living in horrid conditions. Marc and his unit started harassing the company commander for resources. He took leftover food, water and building supplies and made sure they were given to the people of the valley. By the time his tour was done the people of the Livno Valley had livable homes again and Marc had a new nickname. The people of the Livno Valley called him “King Marco.”

For his work in Bosnia, Marc was awarded the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Commendation. He was also awarded the South West Asia Medal and United States Bronze star posthumously.

Marc wanted to experience everything life had to offer and one of the ways he did that was by traveling. He loved to see the world in ways others wouldn’t or couldn’t. As a result, no matter where he was he was surrounded by people who wanted to be near him and experience his way of living life. Fully. Completely.

A full life in 29 years. He knew that…and admitted it in the summer of 2001 when he said, “If I died tomorrow, I’ve done so much. I’ve lived so much and had such a full life. I’d die happy.”

By J’lyn Nye

Portrait by Cindy Revell