Bombardier Karl Manning
Bombardier Karl Manning, an artillery soldier and radar operator from Quebec, was remembered as a dedicated and professional soldier following his death in May 2011.
"His brothers in arms described him as reliable and responsible. He was always ready to help others in order to improve the co-ordination of his team."
Bdr Manning enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2008. He left for Afghanistan in December 2010, serving with The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.
Bdr Manning, 31, a native of Chicoutimi, Quebec, and member of X-battery, 5e Régiment d'artillerie légère du Canada (5th Artillery Regiment), was found dead by fellow soldiers at a remote base in Panjwaii district where he had been stationed for six months.
He had nearly completed his first tour of Afghanistan at the time of his death. Maj Vincent Giroux, Bdr Manning's commanding officer, said Bdr Manning's death came as a shock to the regiment.
"A unit is a family. I think that is the question everybody is asking—his family, Canadians in general, friends who knew him. We would like to know why and what happened," Maj Giroux told the Canadian Press.
Following an investigation, military officials described Bdr Manning's death as non-accidental but not as a result of enemy action or foul play. Instead, it is believed that Bdr Manning took his own life.
Bdr Manning's family expressed disbelief and shock at the result of the military's investigation. They said there were no signs that Bdr Manning was struggling.
Soldiers serving with Bdr Manning said he had been laughing and joking with them shortly before his death. Bdr Manning had also taken a couple of significant steps in his life: He had bought a house and was planning his wedding with his fiancée, Julie Dechamplain. "He was impressive, a friendly guy (and) a team worker."
Master Warrant Officer Ghislain Angel, X-battery sergeant-major, told The Star Bdr Manning was, "always smiling. He was always coming to talk to us and give us a lot of information, even about his personal life. He was a very great soldier."
"The role he played within the battle group — operating radars — was essential to the success of Canadian and coalition force operations," said the Canadian commander Brig-Gen Dean Milner, said. "He worked alongside fellow Canadian and American soldiers and his professionalism and dedication were admired by all.