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Horseshoe Valley honours soldier killed in Afghanistan War

October 2020

In October 2009, 23 year-old Private Kevin McKay deployed to Afghanistan with his regiment, the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based at Steele Barracks in Edmonton, Alberta.

On 13 May 2010, Private McKay was on foot patrol near the village of Nakhonay, in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan. The now 24 year-old was scheduled to rotate back home, but an improvised explosive device took the life of the young soldier, who had joined the Canadian Army a little less than three years later.

McKay was born on 28 February 1986 in Richmond Hill Ontario, grew up 60 miles north in the Horseshoe Valley area of Oro-Medonte Township. He graduated from Eastview Secondary School in the nearby City of Barrie, and then trained as a carpenter at Georgian College, also in Barrie.

Private Kevin McKay was buried with full military honours in Beechwood National Military Cemetery in Ottawa, after a military funeral at the Barrie Armoury in Barrie.  

He was posthumously awarded the General Campaign Star – South-West Asia and the Sacrifice Medal. As is tradition, his mother Elizabeth was presented with the Memorial Cross, a Canadian medal awarded to the mother, or in recent years other next of kin, of any member of the Canadian Armed Forces who dies while in the service of Canada.

On 6 June 2010, a memorial monument was dedicated to his memory, service and sacrifice in Horseshoe Valley Memorial Park, a small park at the corner of Line 4 and Horseshoe Valley Road. A tree planting was also part of the ceremony.

In attendance were Oro-Medonte Township Mayor Harry Hughes, township councillors, Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton and MPP Garfield Dunlop, along with military dignitaries, and members of the McKay family.

Sources: https://www.simcoe.com/news-story/2025475-oro-medonte-remembers-local-soldier, https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/80003594?Kevin%20Thomas%20McKay, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/52403274/kevin-thomas-mckay, https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2010/05/14/parents_mourn_soldier_killed_days_from_end_of_tour.html.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/horseshoe-valley-honours-soldier-killed-in-afghanistan-war/

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