A memorial plaque was unveiled Tuesday for Warrant Officer Frank Mellish at the Kensington, P.E.I., high school from which he graduated in 1987.

Mellish was killed in action in Afghanistan in September 2006 at the age of 38, attacked as he retrieved the body of his friend from the front lines of a battle.

"He said, this is my home — I consider Prince Edward Island, Summerside area and Kensington my home," recalled Mellish's widow and fellow solider, retired Air Force captain Kendra Mellish, who called her late husband "a hero … my high school sweetheart."

'Inspire the youth'

"Here in the school, where he actually walked these halls … I wanted to inspire the youth of tomorrow — the future possibly Canadian Armed Forces soldiers and future cadets — to say hey, you can make your community better by service to your country," she said.

Kendra Mellish at KISH ceremony

'A hero... my high school sweetheart,' says retired Air Force captain Kendra Mellish (left) of her late husband, Warrant Officer Frank Mellish. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

Mellish's plaque is one of more than 40 mounted in high schools through the the Canadian Pacific Railway's Afghanistan Memorial Plaque Program, commemorating those who died in Afghanistan in the schools they once attended.

"To keep Frank's memory alive is an honour, it's the least thing I can do," Kendra Mellish said. 

With files from Stephanie Kelly