Loved ones will gather today in Truro, N.S., to say goodbye to the Afghanistan war veteran after his body was found at CFB Petawawa on Nov. 27.
McNeil was 39. It was the fourth apparent military suicide in two weeks.
Barry Mellish said his nephew was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his last tour in Afghanistan, but his death came as a shock.
"He seemed to be a very strong individual. He was always there to help anybody else who was down or worried. He was the first one to stand up," he said. "Michel was a helper."
"I never once dreamed he'd do something like this."
The service will be held at the Truro Armoury and starts at 11 a.m. AT.
He is survived by his three children and one stepson.
The four deaths have put the spotlight on how the military deals with soldiers with PTSD.
McNeil’s death follows those of Master Cpl.William Elliott, who died at his home near CFB Shilo in southwestern Manitoba, and Master Bombardier Travis Halmrast, who died in a Lethbridge, Alta., hospital after a suicide attempt in a jail.
Then came the shocking news that military police are investigating the death of a member at CFB Valcartier in Quebec.
Capt. Mathieu Dufour, public affairs officer at Valcartier Garrison, confirmed that Master Cpl. Sylvain Lelièvre was found dead in his home on Monday.