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Corporal Stephen Frederick Bouzane was supposed to be boarding a flight to Europe tomorrow with some friends for a long-anticipated break.

Having just completed his first six-month tour of Afghanistan, the 26-year-old Canadian soldier even had his sister send him some new clothes for the trip.

But Cpl. Bouzane was killed yesterday along with two others.

"He was really looking forward to that [trip]" Cpl. Bouzane's father, Fred, said in a telephone interview from the family home in St. Alban's, Nfld. Many relatives of the large Bouzane family had gathered at the Corporal's grandmother's house in Little Bay, Nfld.

"But he was a wonderful young man, that's all I can tell you. He was doing what he was doing, and he was glad to be there."

Cpl. Bouzane, who was born in Newfoundland but grew up in Toronto, had just talked to his father over the Internet the day before he was killed.

"He seemed content in what he was doing. He told me he had wanted to sign up for another six months in Afghanistan, but they said no, that he's got to go out for a break and then come back."

Cpl. Bouzane also had a lengthy online conversation with his sister, Kelly, who lives in Toronto, that day. "We were pretty close," she said yesterday.

Known to his friends as "Bouzy," the popular Jean Vanier Catholic High School graduate was a staple at the Duck Lake trailer park in Kirkfield, Ont., every summer, where he and his friends would camp and stay up late partying.

Unnati Gandhi