Memorial service held for fallen soldier

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A memorial service was held Friday at Garrison Petawawa for Bombardier Patrick Labrie, a member of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (2RCHA).

Labrie died June 17 as a result of his injuries during parachute training as part of Exercise Swift Response 19 in Cheshnegirovo, Bulgaria.

He was laid to rest July 8 at Beechwood Cemetery surrounded by his family and close friends.

In a memorial posted on the 2RCHA Facebook page, Labrie was remembered for his “stalwart dedication and exceptional physical fitness.”

“Bombardier Labrie was a calm and collected individual with the physical strength to match two average soldiers. In both garrison and the field environment he could always be seen with a smile on his face while he worked diligently on whatever the day required of him.

“If Bombardier Labrie was unfamiliar with a certain aspect at work he was the first to roll up his sleeves and make his best attempt at it.

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“His peers emulated him; he was an example pf the confident soldier who never shied away from tasks and was quick to volunteer. Bombardier Labrie refused to accept failure and proved time and time again that he was fearless of the unknown.”

Labrie is survived by his fiancee and common-law spouse, Jessica Lafleur, his parents, Jean Labrie and Julie Rivard, and his sister, Veronique.

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Family members of Bombardier Labrie, along with his brothers and sisters in arms, were present to pay their respects during a dignified and honourable return ceremony in Ottawa on June 22.

“Today is a hard day for the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (2 RCHA). We are grieving the sudden loss of one of our own – Bombardier Patrick Labrie – who was tragically killed while participating in Exercise Swift Response 19,” Lieutenant-Colonel Dan Matheson, commanding officer of the 2RCHA, said at the time.

“Our thoughts are with Patrick’s family and friends who are no doubt struggling with the loss of such a fine young soldier. 2RCHA is a family and as a family, we mourn together.”