One of the ways that Randy Payne will always be remembered hurts – in a positive way.

He was in excellent physical condition and after he died, the 20-minute workout includes hundreds of pull-ups, push-ups, squats and a 1,500-metre hill run or a 2,000-metre road run. One soldier called it a “ritual of remembrance.”

Randy’s fitness level was only one of the many reasons he will continue to live on in people’s hearts and memories.

Dedicated to his family, he was charming with an upbeat personality that made him fun to be around and very popular.

He loved hockey and was a very good player.

Randy was from a military family, but he studied criminology in college with a goal of becoming a police officer. He took a civilian job instead, but a few years later he joined the Canadian Forces and was trained as a military police officer in Alberta. He was one of the top performers of the Wainwright MP Platoon. He was an exceptionally quick study and this, coupled with his sharp intellect, allowed him to master his patrol duties in a short amount of time.

He was deployed to Afghanistan at the end of January 2006. When he died, Payne was a member of an elite military police unit charged with protecting senior Canadian officers.

Randy’s name graces a bridge in Gananoque, ON.

By Susan Blackman Abma

Portrait by Susan Abma