The Military Museums

Trooper Darryl Caswell

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Trooper Darryl Caswell

In the town of Bowmanville, Ontario, Darryl Caswell Way runs a short distance between Bons Avenue and Honeyman Drive.

It’s a short street with a significant legacy: The street bears the name of Trooper Darryl Caswell, a 25-year-old member of The Royal Canadian Dragoons who died on 11 June 2007 while in serving in Afghanistan.

Trp Caswell, who was born on 31 July 1981, was a graduate of Bowmanville High School. He took one year of college, thinking he might become a police officer, but found he didn’t enjoy higher education.

Instead, in 2004, Trp Caswell joined the army. It proved to be the right move. Known for his loyalty to friends and family, Trp Caswell took to army life, and he quickly rose to meet the challenges placed before him as a serving member of the Canadian Forces. He embraced the responsibility and expectations.

Adventuresome and a thrill-seeker, Trp Caswell was nearly blocked from joining the Afghanistan mission after receiving a handful of speeding tickets while riding his beloved Honda motorcycle. After his commanding officers warned him that one more ticket would preclude him from the mission, Trp Caswell put his bike into storage.

That’s not to say he lost his love for adventure or high speeds: He often drove his Coyote, a six-wheeled light armoured vehicle used for reconnaissance, like a race car. Trp Caswell was killed when a roadside bomb exploded next to his Coyote 40 kilometres north of Kandahar Airfield (KAF). The explosion injured two Canadian soldiers travelling with him in the Coyote.

Trp Caswell, as a member of the Dragoons Reconnaissance Squadron, was working the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group. His Coyote was part of a Combat Logistics Patrol convoy heading north to resupply a forward operating base in the Kharkriz district during Operation Adalat. Canadian soldiers were fighting alongside the Afghan National Army to clear insurgents from the region.

Trp Caswell, a likeable and highly respected young man who worked with youth and spent time with older veterans, was known for his high morals and thoughtful decisions. He had close bonds with his family, his father, Paul, and stepmother, Christine; his mother, Darlene Cushman; and his younger siblings Logan and Jolene.

In all that he did, Trp Caswell tried to live up to his creed: "If in a man’s lifetime, he finds nothing he would die for, then he was never worthy." Trp Caswell only had a month left of his tour when he died. He was scheduled to fly home on his 26th birthday.

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