Saskatchewan soldier with U.S. army killed in Afghanistan in rollover

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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BIG RIVER, Sask. - A fallen soldier from Saskatchewan's Big River First Nation will be remembered as a brave role model and loving father.
United States Army Sgt. Darby Morin, 25, died early Saturday morning when the driver of the vehicle he was travelling in lost control, causing a rollover near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Heavy fog blanketed the road at the time of the crash, and Morin was wearing his seatbelt, but was unconscious when military medics arrived on scene.
Morin was the nephew of Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Vice-Chief Lyle Whitefish.
Whitefish, reached on his cellphone in Delaware on Monday afternoon, was preparing for Morin's body to arrive back in the United States at the Dover Air Force Base.
"You never think it would happen," said Whitefish. "Of course he was at risk every day, but a lot of young men and women come home. Unfortunately others don't, and he was one that didn't."
Morin and his wife, Veronica, had two sons, Christian, 3, and Blue Sky, 19 months.
"He was a great father and he loved his wife and his children," said Whitefish. "He was very compassionate."
Morin's decision to enlist in the U.S. Army immediately after graduating from Big River First Nation High School came from an admiration for its advanced technology, according to his uncle.
Morin spent four years stationed at Fort Eustis, Va., before being transferred to Fort Drum, N.Y., in April 2008.
In December he was deployed to the Charkh District in Logar Province, Afghanistan.
"He wanted to be a role model; he wanted to show kids they could be much more than being in a gang or whatever," said Whitefish.
Morin seemed to have a sense of humour as well.
The nuclear, biological and chemical non-commissioned officer also served as the unofficial barber amongst the troops.
Whitefish remembered that when Morin came home for a visit, the young men in the area would line up to get their hair cut just like his.

Organizations: U.S. Army, United States Army, Dover Air Force Base Big River First Nation High School

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Afghanistan, BIG RIVER Afghanistan-Pakistan United States Blue Sky Fort Eustis Fort Drum Logar Province

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