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Michael Starker, a paramedic and member of CUPE 3421 in Calgary, became the 83rd Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan, May 6.

“My thoughts are with Brother Starker’s family and my heart grieves for their loss,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “This is a terrible event that overwhelms all CUPE members with great sadness.”

Moist, who was at the CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador convention May 6, asked delegates for a minute of silence in Starker’s memory.

Starker began working for Calgary EMS in 2005, and was also in the Canadian Forces Reserves. He became a paramedic in 2007.

“There’s a tremendous sense of loss among our members - a despair,” said CUPE 3421 president Bruce Robb “He was well liked by his immediate group of co-workers.”

Anyone who wishes to send condolences can use this Calgary Herald guest book.