Trooper Jack Bouthillier
Jack Bouthillier was born on the 13th of September 1988 in Hearst Ontario to Raynald Bouthillier and Elaine Bouthillier. He has one younger sister, Michelle. He also left behind his girlfriend, Christine Plamondon. His hometown, Hearst, is located in northern Ontario and has a population of just over 6000 people. Growing up, Jack was always full of energy and it was apparent at an early age that he was physically gifted.
At the age of two and a half, he was ready to take the training wheels off his bicycle and ride a two wheeler that was obviously much too big for him. He was a fearless child who loved a challenge and was always ready to tackle any obstacle no matter how big. He loved to dress up in army clothes and his father's paintball equipment and play soldier, it was his dream to be in the military.
For those who did not know Jack, he was always full of energy and he had a hard time containing himself at times. He was always wrestling and practicing his mixed martial arts on his family and friends, he loved the UFC. It was joked about that he would someday rival another French Canadian fighter George St-Pierre. In high school, Jack was awarded certificates as the Best Athlete and Most Muscular Male.
Upon completion of Basic Training, he was awarded the Top Male Athlete on his course. Jack loved physical challenges and excelled when he competed in the Ironman last year in Petawawa. He looked forward to returning and leading some of his peers from 60 Troop in training for this year’s event. He also enjoyed running, swimming, 4 wheeling, horse back riding, snowmobiling and lifting weights. This active lifestyle helped Jack develop self confidence, discipline, and determination in achieving goals.
Jack was home schooled by his mother from the sixth grade until high school. During this time he was able to provide a helping hand around the house. He also had the opportunity to join his father in his truck delivering logs across the northern states. Jack and his father were very close, they would always wrestle together. His father remembers trying to discipline him when he was twelve years old. Jack stood up to him and pushed out his chest showing that he was fearless and ready to take on a man three times his size. His father remembers being impressed by his courage, but he had to proceed with the discipline.
Jack was also very close to his younger sister Michelle who would follow him around and copy his every move. Jack was a good role model but he also showed her how to get into trouble as they pulled pranks on friends. He and his best friend, Miguel Brisson, would practice their marksman skills with pellet guns and learn to navigate through the woods. Jack took his soldiering very seriously and knew that his job in the army was an important and serious job. He took pride in what he did.
Jack enrolled in the Canadian Forces on August 8th, 2006 and completed his basic training in St-Jean, Quebec. He next trained at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown where he would learn his trade skills as an Armoured Crewman. Once he was fully qualified, Jack was posted to his Regiment, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, based in Canadian Forces Base Petawawa. As a quick learner, Jack was given numerous training opportunities and was a qualified driver on several vehicles, including the Light Armoured Vehicle III and the Coyote Reconnaissance vehicle.
He also became a qualified gunner on the Leopard C2 Tank and Light Armoured Vehicle TOW under armour, which is an anti tank missile system. Noted as a keen soldier, Jack made his way into the Regiment’s operational reserve pool which is a dedicated group of soldiers that is trained and prepared to deploy overseas as replacements for casualties. Jack got the call that he was needed overseas in February 2009 and was excited to perform his duty.
He served in Kandahar, Afghanistan with D Squadron where he was employed primarily as a Coyote Surveillance Operator. He quickly earned the respect of his teammates in Afghanistan and was a popular member of his Troop.
Jack was killed in action on March 20th 2009 when the Coyote he was travelling in was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device. Jack was serving as the rear sentry of the vehicle during a security patrol in the Shah Wali Kowt District of Kandahar Province at the time. The driver of the vehicle, Trooper Corey Hayes was killed in the same incident.
Jack was a volunteer who understood and believed in the mission in Afghanistan. He had chosen to do this job because it entitled a life of action and excitement and at the end of the day he could have the feeling that he made a difference in other people’s lives. Well he did just that and more.
Sadly, his life was cut short, but he was happy among us, and lived his life to the fullest every day. He left his mark on all of us and we know that he will not be forgotten. His body may be in the ground but his soul lives on for eternity in a more glorious place in the presence of God, because he believed in our Lord Jesus Christ who died for him, and we know that we will see him again one day.
Jack will best be remembered for always having a big smile on his face and a stick twirling in his hands. He was full of joy and could find happiness in the simple things in life. If his family went out for a fancy dinner, he would be sure to order a grilled cheese as it was his favourite item on any menu. He had a mind of his own and when it was made up, it could not easily be deterred. He was very proud and he always showed respect to others. He won people over with his politeness and his perfect smile.
You were free to choose this career
You were free to choose to help others
Freedom is a beautiful thing
You lived and died for it
To you Jack and to all of the fallen soldiers