A Vancouver Island man who is missing along with five others in a military helicopter crash near Greece is begin remembered as determined and inspiring.
Capt. Kevin Hagen went to high school in Saanich at Lambrick Park Secondary, where he excelled in his schoolwork while in pursuit of his pilots license through cadets.
“Outstanding is the first thing that comes to mind,” said one of his previous teachers, Tom Turnbull.
“He was caring and kind, driven to what he wanted. I couldn’t believe it, talking to staff members was all the same, outstanding student.”
Andrew Lawrence was one of his friends from high school.
“I just can’t believe it happened,” Lawrence said.
“I moved here and didn’t have lots of friends and he was one of the first friends to befriend me in high school,” Lawrence said, adding. “Very kind and upbeat, uplifting man who knew what he wanted.”
And all he wanted was to be a pilot, and he worked hard to get there.
He was an Air Cadet at 848 Royal Roads Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, and got his glider and power pilots license’s, before moving on to the military to fly helicopters.
“When Kevin first joined the squadron, I knew it was his dream day one to become a pilot,” said Capt. Alex Osborne, Deputy Commanding Officer of 848 RCACS, who was a fellow cadet with Hagen.
“It was his 24/7 job he wanted to get that pilot job. Having grown up with him in the program it definitely hit us all pretty hard. It is very difficult to see that dream unfortunately lost to soon,” Osborne said.
It wasn’t just at the pilots seat where he excelled. He even won top musician awards, back to back.
Many say he was a huge inspiration for both cadets and friends.
“He was very inspiring to everybody around him,” said Osborne.
“We all wanted to be a bit better because Kevin was able to show us that we could be better that we could drive to do more in our squadron.”
“He went out and grabbed life and did what he wanted to do, he had goals and I just admire that,” he said.
Hagen’s family was unable to go on camera today, but says he gave unselfishly of himself to others.
The cause of the crash is still not clear, but new details suggest it happened at high-speed.
The military says on board was a star crew of top-notch people, a title that many would agree, fit Capt. Hagen perfectly.