Corporal Michael Starker
Corporal Michael Starker was born in Calgary on 16 February 1972. He joined the Regular Force as an infantryman on 16 August 1990 and was posted to 1 PPCLI upon completion of Battle School. Corporal Starker served in the First Battalion from August 1990 until August 1991, and spent time in Cyprus with the Battalion.
Upon his return from Cyprus, he was posted to 2 Commando, Canadian Airborne Regiment. He served with the Airborne Regiment until it disbanded in 1995. Corporal Starker returned to the First Battalion in Calgary and served with the Battalion until he took his release in February 1996.
Corporal Starker worked as a paramedic with Calgary's Emergency Medical Services for the past nine years. He joined the Reserve Force as a medic in 2003 and worked with the Calgary Detachment of 15 Field Ambulance.
Corporal Michael Starker was killed in action in Afghanistan on 6 May 2008 while working with the Provincial Reconstruction Team Force Protection Company (B Company, 1 PPCLI), when his patrol came under fire in an ambush in the area West of Pashmul, a village in Zharey District, Southwest of Kandahar City.
Michael (Mike) Starker died doing what he loved. In his heart, he was a soldier and in his blood – a paramedic. But soldiering wasn’t the only thing that Mike gave his heart to. He gave his heart and soul to his wife, parents, family and friends.
A soldier’s soldier and a born leader, Mike wasn’t afraid to take on the difficult jobs and one that he took most seriously was taking care of his family, friends and those in his military and EMS families. Everyone liked him and everyone wanted Mike on patrol with them – always.
He had the ability to make people feel safe and that they could handle any challenge. It made him not only a stellar paramedic and soldier, it made him a great person to know.
Always quick with a laugh, a joke and his trademark mischievous smile, Mike had many friends and was respected by everyone. Uncle Mike was especially adored by his nieces, nephew and godchildren. He was the uncle every child would be blessed to have and entertained the kids like only he could. His special brand of humour always made them laugh.
He loved the outdoors and along with being an avid rider of motorbikes, ATV’s and mountain bikes, could set up a camp made for a king in ten seconds flat. A fabulous cook, Mike would divulge none of his "secret recipes" that kept people coming back for more.
Mike loved being a paramedic with Calgary EMS and loved being a soldier in the Canadian Forces – especially his time in the Canadian Airborne Regiment. He was very proud of the people that he served with and those whom he led.
Mike will be missed terribly by the family, friends and many people who loved him and were fortunate enough to have known him in this life.
The Family of Michael Starker