The family of one of the Canadian Armed Forced personnel lost in a helicopter crash is remembering him as a “genuine and patient soul” who brought happiness to those around him.
Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin, 29, was one of six crew members onboard the CH-148 Cyclone Helicopter that crashed off the coast of Greece last month.
On Thursday, Miron-Morin’s wife, father and mother issued statements offering their thoughts on his death.
Born in Bécancour, Qué., in the Parish of Sainte-Gertrude, the 29-year-old was the eldest of a family of five children, three brothers and a sister who is the youngest of the family.
“He really wanted to have a sister,” wrote Marie-Claude, Miron-Morin’s mother.
Both of Miron-Morin’s parents described him as an incredibly kind child who was always prepared to take care of his younger siblings.
Growing up, Miron-Morin was a superb athlete, who enjoyed soccer, sprinting, cycling, skiing, outdoor sports and video games.
Miron-Morin is described as being a curious child from a very young age.
His mother says that “no question remained unanswered” and that she called him “Mr. Why?” because her son would always have a question on his mind.
Miron-Morian’s inquisitive nature even extended to the Rubik’s Cube, which his mother said was always close at hand.
“Whether the cube was 3×3, 4×4, 5×5 or 8×8 and regardless of the shape or complexity of the cube, he was always motivated to succeed,” wrote Marie-Clair.
“He excelled at doing this and could even do it with his eyes closed.”
Maxime Miron-Morin would go on to join the 817 Général JV Allard, Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in the Central Quebec region.
It is there that he was instilled with a taste for discipline, routine and a sense of duty, according to his mother.
The Air Cadets taught Miron-Morin, that he should never give up on his dreams and that flying was possible, she said. Above all, they taught him that he should never give up his dreams and that, yes, flying was possible.
He would go on to enroll in the Royal Military College of Canada, where he would choose his military trade as a pilot and then a navigator.
While at the school he began his studies in aeronautical engineering, eventually graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering.
It was in Kingston, Ont., that he met his sweetheart, Kathryn, who would become his wife in 2014.
Kathryn said that her husband “relished in finding answers to every question he came across.”
“That was Max, pursuing excellence in everything he did, no matter how small or large.”
Miron-Morin was stationed in Comox, British Columbia, and then Winnipeg. For the past six years he and Kathryn had been based in Halifax.
Only last year, Miron-Morin, completed his Master of Science in Oceanography at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
He wrote his thesis in English, his second-language; a feat that impressed many of his colleagues.
“His intelligence, dedication, and leadership were invaluable assets to our world,” writes Kathryn.
Miron-Morin would’ve marked 12-years serving in the Canadian Armed Forces this summer.
His mother says that he was “very happy” when he learned he was leaving on HMCS Fredericton.
“He was proud of his first mission, felt useful and wanted to put all his knowledge, training, energy and talent to good use,” she wrote.
All three family members said that Miron-Morin was known as a dedicated officer who was cherished by those around him.
“The loss of Max has left a devastating hole in the lives of all those who were fortunate to know him, and we know this immeasurable pain is felt by all those affected by the tragedy,” Kathryn wrote.
Miron-Morin’s father, Jean Morin, said that his son died as he lived, “doing what he loved.”
Kathryn said that the family extends its “unconditional love” and support to the families and friends of the five other armed forces members that died in the crash.
“To Max – you were taken too soon and had so much left to offer, we love you very beaucoup, à la folie, forever and always,” she wrote.
The helicopter crashed into the Ionian Sea on April 29 within sight of the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Fredericton while participating in a NATO training mission. The remains of two Armed Forces members on board have been recovered, while four others are missing and presumed dead.
The decision to find and recover the wreckage was made soon after the crash to recover the bodies of anyone still on board and to better understand why the Cyclone went down.
The Canadian military has confirmed that the U.S. Navy will assist in their efforts to recover the down helicopter.