Trooper Michael Hayakaze
Trooper Michael Yuki Hayakaze was a member of Lord Stratchona’s Horse, (Royal Canadians) based out of Edmonton, Alberta. He enlisted with the Canadian Forces in January 2006 and began training in July of the same year. As part of his training, he traveled to Wainwright, Alberta, Fort Bliss, Texas and Germany to learn to operate heavy armoured vehicles.
Trooper Hayakaze worked hard at developing his expertise as a tank driver realizing that many lives depended on his skill. He believed strongly in the mission in Afghanistan, once telling his mom that he was helping to protect our country, the people of Afghanistan and our families.
A month before his death, he was interviewed by a reporter from the Washington Post where he spoke about his sense of optimism for the mission and how he had seen an improvement in the attitude of children in towns around Kandahar. He was known by his fellow soldiers as being a solid guy, always happy and smiling and always bringing joy to others around him. He was known to be the guy that would cheer up others that were feeling low.
Trooper Hayakaze, or Mikey as he was affectionately known to his family and close friends, grew up in Edmonton where he attended Bellevue Elementary School. He graduated from Eastglen Composite High School in 2001 where he was active on the swimming and water polo teams. He is remembered by his teachers as a polite and thoughtful student, the kind that every teacher would be pleased to teach.
Trooper Hayakaze was killed when his vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device while travelling on a resupply patrol 45 km west of the Canadian base in Kandahar. He was scheduled to return home to Canada just a few days before his death. He was 25 years old at the time.