Saturday, January 2, 2010

statement by family of Sgt George Miok

George was the youngest of four brothers, raised in a loving home by Anna and Illés [popularly known as Eli, since Illés is Hungarian for Elijah]. The fact his father Eli had served in the military on behalf of his country was a factor in George's decision to join the Engineers in 1998 in response to an army recruiting advertisement.

George attended Archbishop Jordan Catholic High in Sherwood Park, and in his Grade 12 scrapbook George titled the following entry "The Event That Has Changed My Life":
This last summer, the summer of '98, I did Basic military training at the Wainwright training base. The experience was long but it made me look at things differently. I went through many tough times, long nights, and early mornings. I got through the days with the help of friends and my own inner strength. Once, when I was in the field late at night, I looked at the sky and saw stars like I've never seen before and I knew that there was more to life. The whole experience made me appreciate my life more and made me think about everything I was fortunate for.

George was happy spending his Wednesday evenings and Saturdays with his new friends at the Debney Armoury [just west of 75 st on Roper Rd in Edmonton]. He enjoyed the occasional weekend-long adventures in the field, the travel opportunities, the income a reservist receives which allowed him to buy gas for the car, and, most of all, the camaraderie. George took time off from his Bachelor of Education program at the U of Alberta to serve in Bosnia in 2002. He would later teach at École St Cecilia Junior High [a few blocks southeast of Northtown Mall].

A gifted athlete, George loved to play sports: soccer, baseball, hockey, football, and rugby. He was a natural on the dance floor and a coveted two-step partner. He was a long-time member of Edmonton's Csárdás Hungarian Folkdance Ensemble. He loved watching movies and laughing at funny TV shows. He enjoying socializing and was known to go for a long run after a night of merriment.

Before George left on his first overseas deployment to Bosnia he explained his decision to go to his mother by saying that Canada has been good to the family and he wanted to pay his country back. He was also interested in helping those who lived in other countries achieve Canada's peace and prosperity. Anna recalls her son reading a passage from the Bible that included the verse "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." George went on his first tour of Afghanistan in 2006. His decision to return not just once but twice was a reflection of his belief that he could continue to make a difference.

George will be loved and remembered forever by his parents, his three older brothers Michael, John, László (Les) and his sister-in-law Melissa, his large extended family (aunts, uncles, and so many cousins), and by his many friends.

The family appreciates the public's sympathy and interest but asks that media inquiries be directed to Grant Cree at (780) 949-3228 or jgcree [at] during this difficult time.

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