|Birth: ||Jul. 17, 1981|
Nova Scotia, Canada
|Death: ||Jun. 21, 2010|
Sergeant, 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, based in Petawawa, Ontario. He was serving with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group deployed with the Canadian contingent of NATO forces serving in Afghanistan.
Sgt MacNeil was killed after an improvised explosive device detonated during a joint foot patrol with the Afghan National Army near the village of Nakhonay in the Panjwai district, about 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City.
Aged 28, he was a native of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. A 10-year veteran of the Canadian Forces, he had been recently promoted and honoured as the top master corporal in 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. He was on his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan. His commanding officer described him as a man with a big heart and recognized within his regiment as the epitome of excellence and professionalism. Known as "Jimmy", he was proud of his Cape Breton heritage and remembered as easy-going and friendly, unable to say no to any social gathering and was inevitably the life of the party. He loved baseball, rugby, hockey and the Montreal Canadiens.
His medals and decorations include the South-West Asia Service Medal (SWASM) and General Campaign Star South-West Asia (ECG-ASO).
On the day before his death, Sgt MacNeil and his girlfriend, Laura Boutilier, got engaged long-distance and began making plans for a wedding and a new home. He also leaves behind his mother Velma MacNeil and stepfather Allan Burke, father James MacNeil and stepmother Hellen MacNeil, stepsister Sharon Burke, stepbrother Donald Rogers, Laura's daughter Ava Grace, a large extended family and many friends. Family members said Jimmy was an outgoing and loving young man who loved his military career and died doing something he believed in. They reminisced about the wonderful memories he left behind. "He had a way of making each and every individual member of his family feel like they were his favourite."
Funeral Mass with military honours was celebrated on July 2, 2010 at Immaculate Conception Church, Bridgeport.
Canada has lost 148 military personnel since the Afghanistan mission began in 2002. One diplomat, a journalist and two aid workers have also died.
Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Cemetery
Cape Breton County
Nova Scotia, Canada
Created by: Milou
Record added: Jun 21, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53958549