Col. Michael Shahoud hailed as ‘soldier to the bone’, epitome of loyalty to the Army

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President Irfaan Ali Friday morning hailed Colonel Michael Azar Shahoud as a “soldier to the bone” and “the epitome of loyalty” to the country’s Army as friends, family and soldier paid their final respects at a moving funeral ceremony at the Brickdam Cathedral in Georgetown.

Col. Shahoud, 45, and four others died in a helicopter crash in the jungles of Region Seven on December 6, 2023. He was commanding a team of senior Army ranks on a visit to troops on the western border following Venezuela’s threat to seize control of the Essequibo region.

In a moving tribute to his “friend” and “trusted advisor”, President Ali said that Col. Shahoud had adopted the village of Arau, one of the communities closest to the Venezuelan border. In fact, President Ali said, Col. Shahoud had created a WhatsApp group with villagers and their leaders to ensure that he kept in contact with them and fulfilled his pledge to take care of their personal and community needs.

The President shared this example to illustrate Col. Shahoud’s love for Guyanese and Guyana.

When it came to his role in the Army, President Ali noted that while Col. Shahoud wielded great responsibility and was firm, but he balanced this with empathy.

Col. Shahoud was described as a “military all-rounder” who was “extremely versatile” and could take on a wide range of responsibilities. He was a highly-trained member of the elite squadron of the Guyana Defence Force.

President Ali said Col. Shahoud was the “the epitome of loyalty to our armed forces and our country.”

He noted that despite having studied law nine years ago and possessing the potential for a more financially lucrative career outside of the armed forces, Col. Shahoud’s “heart and soul was deeply entrenched in the armed forces” and so his sense of duty surpassed personal gain.

President Ali also paid tribute to Col. Shahoud’s family, including his wife Lucrecia Joseph, his son Michael Shahoud III, and his mother Margaret, for whom Col. Shahoud was “her entire world.”

“Mike was a tower of strength, a sense of confidence, a symbol of nationhood; Mike was a symbol of nationhood.”

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1 Comment
  1. Don A Gomes says

    simply awesome. a journey well achieved.iò

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