"He just wanted to make a difference and believe that he was doing right, and he had the support from his family and friends and that he was doing the right thing," he told radio station CFJC in Kamloops, B.C.

Wasden, interviewed by CBC News in June 2007, acknowledged that risks are part of a soldier's job. At the time, he had just learned of the deaths of three of his comrades overseas, but he said that wouldn't deter him from leaving on his own upcoming tour in Afghanistan.

"It's part of the job, it's what you do. It's one of the things that's a risk when you sign up," said Wasden, who grew up on a family farm near Leoville in west central Saskatchewan.