Sergeant Martin Goudreault
During his 15-year career with the Canadian Forces, Sergeant Martin (Marty) Goudreault completed two tours in the former Yugoslavia and two tours in Afghanistan. He was killed on 6 June 2010 by an explosion from an improvised landmine during his third tour in Afghanistan.
A member of the Edmonton-based 1 Combat Engineer Regiment, Sgt Goudreault, a Troop Reconnaissance Sergeant in 23 Field Squadron, was leading a foot patrol searching for a weapons cache in a remote area of Afghanistan northwest of Kandahar City in the Panjwayi District.
Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance described Sgt Goudreault as a model soldier. "Martin was someone the soldiers in his section could look up to and emulate," said B-Gen Vance. "Always looking for a challenge, Martin was a qualified combat diver and had the highest personal standards of technical and tactical experience.”
B-Gen Vance added, "Sgt Goudreault died doing what he loved best, leading his section from the front. His subordinates and superiors alike will remember him as a tireless leader who was passionate about his work. "If your way of life was in peril, you would want someone like Sgt. Martin Goudreault to show up and offer help."
Sgt Goudreault, 35, was born in Sudbury, Ont. He grew up in Red Deer, Alta., but graduated from high school in Timmins, Ont. As a youth, he served with the army cadet corps.
Sgt Goudreault enlisted in the Canadian Forces in 1993. Initially, he joined The Algonquin Regiment, which is part of the reserves, but he transferred to the regular force in 1995. After completing combat engineer training, he was posted 1 Combat Engineer Regiment in Edmonton, Alta.
In a statement read aloud in the Senate on behalf of Sgt Goudreault's parents, Aurel and Micheline, Senator Marie-P. Poulin told her colleagues that Sgt Goudreault chose the engineers to challenge himself.
"He was always challenging himself," the Hon Poulin said reading from the Goudreaults’ statement. "At one point in his career, he completed the combat diver course because it was the hardest course he could do at that time. His love of boating grew and whenever he was on the water, he was in his element. One time he travelled down to the United States to certify as a lifeguard so that particular community could have a trained lifeguard and kids would be able to swim. He just loved people.
"Martin was easy going; he never argued, he was funny, and he always had so much energy. He was a joker who liked to kid around and he never sweated the small stuff. When it came to his job, his men always came first. His priority was looking after his troops and he was easy to talk to.
"He was never scared of saying what was on his mind. When he went on his first tour to Afghanistan, he was really gung-ho to go over there and do his part. After he went over there and saw the kids, he realized he needed to go back and make a difference. And he knew that he was making a difference."
Sgt Goudreault was a member of Acacia Lodge No. 11 of the Alberta Freemasons. He is survived by his parents and his two sisters, Chantal and Valerie.
During his fifteen years of service with the Canadian Forces, Sgt Goudreault received the following medals: NATO for Former Republic of Macedonia (NATO-FYROM), Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, South-West Asia Service Medal, General Campaign Star – South West Asia and the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD).
In 2011, The Sergeant Martin Rene Goudreault Memorial Park, overlooking Lake Timiskaming in Ontario, was dedicated in Sgt Goudreault's honour.