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Corporal Nathan Hornburg

Our Son and Brother, Nathan Hornburg, represented the best of all of us. He represented what all Canadians should strive to be. As a boy, he was happy growing up in the neighbourhood of Glamorgan in Calgary, and was greatly influenced by the Calgary Waldorf School philosophy of rhythm, reverence, and ritual. But as much as he loved growing up in Calgary, he also loved the land, and was often found spending time with his extended family in Nanton, Alberta, a place to which he felt deeply connected, and in which he became a son to a second community.

Nathan approached life with enthusiasm. As a young man, he never failed to express a strong sense of fair play, leadership, and curiosity. He was well respected by all who knew him, because he was a true friend, always finding the positive in any situation, always offering his strength when the strength of others was failing. In a way, he was the rock people knew they could depend on, that we knew we could depend on. Nathan was his father’s best friend, and the best son and brother a person could be. Nathan was a leader of men. He never shrunk from responsibility, no matter how difficult the call. In a way, that’s why he chose to join the Canadian Forces, to serve with the King’s Own Calgary Regiment, and in the end, to go to Afghanistan. He had a warrior’s heart, never afraid to lead from the front, and encourage those behind him to be brave in the face of adversity.

The fact that Nathan volunteered to go to Afghanistan, and the way in which he did so, were characteristic of Nathan’s approach to life, and any major decision. He evaluated the facts, did extensive research on the subject, looked at the decision from all angles, and then decided using both his heart and mind. Nathan decided to go to that country fully informed and aware of the danger. He went because he felt it was right, and that he could help those in need. He went to support his fellow troops and friends, he went because his country asked him to, and he went because he felt, from the bottom of his heart, that it was the right thing to do.

Before he left, Nathan told his mother that he loved his life, and regardless of outcomes, he would have no regrets. As a family, it would break our hearts to know that the future of the mission in Afghanistan may be determined by un-informed reaction and political opportunism, rather than by the studied measure of logic and wisdom. Nathan’s death had purpose. He made a difference. He protected the weak, and stood shoulder to shoulder with warriors to fight tyranny, to help those who needed it, and to defend the values that Canadians hold dear.

Being a soldier was only one aspect of Nathan’s life, but bravery and thoughtfulness existed in all aspects of his life. In the end, what Canadians need to know about Nathan is that he was a man of character, a man of purpose, a leader of men, a warrior, a student of the world, and the best of all of us. We remember him, and hope his legacy will encourage us all to be better than we are. -Michael Hornburg - Proud father of CPL Nathan Hornburg

Cpl Hornburg was killed during operations in Afghanistan on Monday, September 24th, 2007. Cpl Hornburg was attached to the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) based in Edmonton as the driver of a Leopard Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV). He was working on replacing the track on a Leopard tank that had lost its track. Cpl Hornburg was the only soldier of the King's Own to be killed during operations in Afghanistan. He is the first member of the Regiment to fall in combat since WW II.


Nathans Father Michael is very involved in the Loops for troops which had its first run last year. this years event will be in june and you can find out more information on it by visting the Running Room's website

The Running Room - Loops for Troops

"I have met with Michael Hornburg several times and he has shared many stories about Nathan and what an amazing young man he was. I have told Michael that I will help him with the loops for troops event and do whatever i can with it. Thank you for sharing your memories of Nathan and am proud to know you"
-Dave Murphy