Fallen soldier had magic touch with vehicles: former comrade
Doyle, who grew up in Kamloops and was based in Edmonton, died on his 3rd tour in Afghanistan
Master Cpl. Erin Doyle, who on Monday became the 90th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan, was the sort of comrade his fellow soldiers always wanted along for the ride.
"It just seemed like every time, whenever the vehicles would break down, he'd always be there and figure out something and we'd get home," Cpl. Angela Abby, who served with Doyle in Bosnia, said in a telephone interview with CBC News from Ottawa.
Doyle grew up in Kamloops, B.C., and was a member of the Edmonton-based 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. He was on his third tour in Afghanistan when he was killed early Monday when insurgents attacked his combat outpost in the Panjwaii district in southern Kandahar province. A second soldier was seriously injured in the attack.
Doyle was a reliable comrade with magic touch for fixing vehicles, Abby said.
"We were quite a few miles from Drvar [in Bosnia], and we still had to go up over the mountain and back into the valley where the camp was," Abby said in a telephone interview with CBC News from Ottawa.
"One of the belts on our armoured personnel carrier broke.… He opened it up and fiddled around with the engine, and tightened something and we got back to camp on, like, one belt."
Community in shock, says mayor
The city council in Kamloops planned to remember him with a moment of silence on Tuesday.
Mayor Terry Lake said the community is reeling from his death.
"The community is a bit in shock [about] the first soldier we lost in Afghanistan from the Kamloops region," Lake told CBC News.
"We have quite a number over there doing such great work for Canada. The community will rally around the family. Our hearts go out to Cpl. Doyle's family."
Doyle was a reservist with the Rocky Mountain Rangers in Kamloops before moving to Edmonton with his wife, Lake said.
"I know that many of his colleagues with the Rocky Mountain Rangers will be thinking of him and making sure that the community is aware of the great contribution that he's had made for our country," he said.
Ten members of the Rangers from the Kamloops area are stationed in Afghanistan, Lake said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of soldiers lined the tarmac at Kandahar Airfield Tuesday to honour Doyle as his flag-draped coffin was loaded onto a transport plane to begin the journey home.
Doyle is survived by his wife, Nicole, and his daughter, Zarine. He is the 90th Canadian soldier to die since the Afghan mission began in 2002. This was his third tour in Afghanistan.
With files from the Canadian Press