On the morning of 9/11, Matt Dinning was fresh out of high school, in the opening weeks of a police foundations course at Westervelt College in London, Ont. Becoming a policeman had been a dream all his life, thanks to the example set by his dad Lincoln, an OPP officer in Wingham, Ont.

Even as a little boy, Dinning read books on police and played police games.

He was also a talented athlete. Growing up he played centre for the Wingham Junior Ironmen, his local hockey squad.

A year after graduating from college, Dinning joined the Canadian Forces as a military policeman. Like his dad, who had worked as a police officer with the United Nations in Kosovo, Dinning was determined to serve his country overseas.

He got his chance in January 2006. Having volunteered for close protection training, he was deployed to Afghanistan as one of a small, elite group of bodyguards ordered to protect Canadian Brig.-Gen. David Fraser, the coalition commander in Kandahar.

"He loved being there," says his father. "He was a proud Canadian. He believed in what he was doing. We miss him dearly."