Smiley Myley — it was the nickname that suited this reservist to a T. He always had a smile on his face and all the time in the world for his family and friends.

He adored his niece and claimed he wanted a whole battery of kids of his own. He had great joy for life and his eyes sparkled. He was opinionated and loud and liked to be heard.

When Myles was in grade school he went home very worried one day. He said the teacher told him they were changing all the Myles (miles) to kilometers and he was concerned that he’d have to change his name.

His draw to the army was possibly hereditary. Both of his grandfathers were in the military – one in the army and the other in the navy. Myles felt a connection to his grandfathers and he wanted to make a difference.

He loved archery and he, his father and brothers shared a passion for motorcycles.

He lived life to the fullest, and when he was tired he could, and did, sleep anywhere. That included in the car, on planes, in a fire truck in a parade. If tired, anywhere was suitable for a snooze.

Myles was a very caring person, and even when he was a teenager, this connection made him very compassionate towards seniors and he always stopped to lend a hand if any seniors needed help.

When he was in Afghanistan, every chance to talk to family was filled with talk about them. He missed home and didn’t want to talk about what he was doing – he wanted to hear what was going on with family and friends in Canada.

By Susan Blackman Abma

Portrait by Susan Abma