Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins is being remembered as a loving father and a family man known for his quick-witted sarcasm and a smile that could light up a room.
In a statement released Friday, his family said Cousins “was loved, is loved and will never be forgotten.”
With his military career spanning 26 years, Cousin’s interests took him from being a reserve Infantryman to an airborne electronic sensor operator.
“As his children grew, the adventure of the sea and working with the Air Force was just the adventure that Matt was looking for,” his family stated.
The statement added that Cousins was not shy about difficult challenges, and faced them head-on. He set sail on HMCS Fredricton shortly after being posted to CFB Shearwater in Nova Scotia.
Matthews was remembered by his son as a mentor, while his daughter remembered his unique humour.
“As long as we can remember, he always wanted to be like his dad,” the statement read. “His humour may have been a little off-centre and pushing boundaries, but it was always timed at the right moment.”
Cousins best friend described his openness as abrasive to some, but led to the most-valued friend he has ever had.
“His talents were many and often coupled with his quick-witted sarcasm and a smile that could light up a room in the darkest of times,” the family stated.
The statement talked about his ability to understand people in a way that could bring the best out of others and his rugged determination to achieve any goal he set.
Cousins’ family credited those qualities in helping him finish an ironman competition at CFB Petawawa and start a band with his closest friends.
“Through all of this, at the end of the day, you could always find him welcoming a friend or stranger over to enjoy an evening under the gazebo,” the statement read.
The bodies of two fallen members were quickly located following the crash, but the other four were reported missing and presumed dead until Wednesday when the Department of National Defence said the remains of the other members and a large part of the helicopter were located.
“We do not leave our fallen behind, and recovering Stalker 22’s crew is of the utmost importance to all of us in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence,” said Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau, commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command.
A ceremony was held at CFB Trenton on May 6 for the six members.
Any further plans to honour Cousins in a ceremony were not provided in the statement.