Corporal Jean-François Drouin

1988 - 6 Sep 2009


Final respects paid to Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin

Updated Sat. Sep. 19 2009 2:52 PM ET

The Canadian Press

QUEBEC CITY -- Mourners filled a stately Quebec City church to capacity on Saturday to pay their final respects to Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin, killed in Afghanistan Sept. 6.

The military funeral service for the 31-year-old soldier took place in the century-old Saint-Louis-de-Courville church in the borough of Beauport.

Drouin, known as 'Big Drou' to his friends and remembered as someone who liked to make others laugh, was born in the province's capital.

He died in roadside bomb blast southwest of Kandahar City, along with colleague Maj. Yannick Pepin, both members of the 5 Combat Engineer Regiment based at CFB Valcartier, Que.

He went to Afghanistan for the first time last April.

The soldier's family says he was a veteran soldier who relished his leadership role.

Pte. Simon Trudel, who worked with Drouin in Afghanistan, says the attendance of so many family, friends and colleagues at his funeral serves as a testament to his life.

"He was positive, always there for others and proud of his job," Trudel told French-language CBC on Saturday.

"The last tribute we can pay to him is right here."

Audrey Beaucage, wife of late Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin, released a dove after the funeral service as Drouin's father Marc and sister Marie-Claude, looked on.


Family of slain soldier says he was a leader

Updated Tue. Sep. 8 2009 1:43 PM ET, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL -- The family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan has paid tribute to the man in a statement that lauds his devotion to Canada's military.

Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin's family says he was a veteran soldier who relished his leadership role.

The family says he became a soldier by choice and believed in the mission.

Drouin and a fellow Quebecer, Maj. Yannick Pepin, were killed over the weekend by a roadside bomb.

"Despite the terrible news that has afflicted us with the death of Jean-Francois, he achieved the challenge he set for himself," the statement said.

"Jean-Francois had an ardent desire to help others and he believed in his mission in Afghanistan. . . In our eyes, you were an experienced soldier of exemplary leadership and devotion to your regiment."

The family recalled that Drouin's friends called him Bid Drou -- or Big Chest -- because of the physique he'd developed after working hard in the gym.

"Jean-Francois, we'll miss you tremendously and your absence will create a large emptiness in our lives. We are proud of the man you were and you will always be in our hearts. Rest in peace. Go, go, go Jeff!"

The family asked for privacy while it mourns.


Two Canadian soldiers killed and five injured in an explosive device strike

CEFCOM NR–09.023 - September 6, 2009

OTTAWA– Two Canadian soldiers were killed and five injured when an improvised explosive device detonated near their armoured vehicle in the vicinity of Dand District, approximately 14 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City at around 12:00 p.m., Kandahar time, on 6 September 2009.

Killed in action was Corporal Jean-François Drouin from 5e Régiment du génie de combat serving as a member of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group based in Valcartier, Quebec.

Killed in action was Major Yannick Pépin also from 5e Régiment du génie de combat serving as a member of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group based in Valcartier, Quebec.

The injured members were evacuated by helicopter to the Role 3 Multi-National Medical Facility at the Kandahar Airfield and are in good condition. The identities of the injured members will not be released.

Our thoughts and condolences go to the family and friends of our fallen comrades.

Canadian soldiers and their ANSF partners work together for the greater good of Afghanistan. Security operations sometimes require a heavy price to be paid, but the challenge we face cannot deter us from our ultimate goal and commitment we have toward Afghans.

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