The wife of Lt.-Col. Daniel Bobbitt, who died this week in a training incident in Alberta, spoke publicly Friday saying her husband died doing what he loved.
Bobbitt was the commanding officer of the 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery based in Petawawa. He died Wednesday after an LAV III rolled over during Exercise Maple Resolve 2014 at Wainwright Garrison, about 200 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.
Four other soldiers were injured in the incident. Two were flown to a hospital in Edmonton, where they are reported to be in fair condition, and the other two were treated at the base.
Bobbitt, a father of three, had 23 years of military experience, including two tours of duty in Bosnia and also in Afghanistan.
His wife, Monica, spoke to the media at CFB Petawawa, where Bobbitt was based, late Friday morning with the couple's three children standing behind her.
Read Monica Bobbitt's complete statement at the bottom of this story.
She said her husband died doing what he loved and he was a proud Nova Scotian. She also said her husband was "the best of us."
On Thursday, Bobbitt’s fellow soldiers at CFB Petawawa and Garrison Wainwright remembered him as a dedicated professional and devoted father.
Rollover under investigation
Brig.-Gen. Omer Lavoie, confirming authority for the exercise, said the rollover is still under investigation but the vehicle was travelling over rough terrain at the time.
Training exercises were suspended after the death, but resumed Thursday morning.
Officers from the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, a high-level police unit, have also been deployed to Garrison Wainwright to look into the incident.
Lavoie said the military has not taken any extra precautions following the incident, but stressed it already has strict safety procedures for training with armoured vehicles.
Lavoie also said the Canadian Forces is "a small family" and Bobbitt's death has shocked his fellow soldiers, but they are committed to continuing the training.
Bobbitt’s military career began in Nova Scotia, where he enlisted as a soldier in the reserves in 1988. He transferred to the regular forces and became an officer, later serving as the senior instructor, field artillery, at the Royal Canadian Artillery School.
Statement from Monica Bobbitt
“Dan was a loving and devoted husband, father, son, brother and friend. A proud Nova Scotian, Canadian and soldier, Dan died doing the job he loved. He was so honoured to be the commanding officer of the second regiment. He was fiercely loyal to his soldiers and his unit. His soldiers made him proud every single day. Anyone who knew Dan loved him and his loss is literally felt the world over. He was the best of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his injured soldiers and their families and with the entire royal regiment of Canadian artillery. Our loss is your loss. We would like to express our sincere thanks for the incredible outpouring of support from our family, our friends, our military family and our country. We ask at this time that the media respect the privacy of Dan’s family and friends and allow us the time and space to grieve.”