Front Lines

Canadian alliances reconfirmed in White House meeting

February 14, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne

  They didn’t get much attention in the headlines, but defence issues constituted a significant proportion of talks during the first meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, Feb. 13. Between references to economic policy, women’s issues and border security, Trudeau and his U.S. counterpart reaffirmed key defence alliances…

Health

Veterans + Suicide

January 24, 2017 by Don Gillmor

Illustration by Robert Carter  How many veterans kill themselves?   The answer is: We don’t know. Do military suicides outnumber combat deaths? The Department of National Defence says six soldiers took their lives in Afghanistan. Veterans Affairs Canada says 53 active members took their lives when they returned. Citing Department of Defence figures, the Toronto…

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Eye On Defence

Measuring our military’s worth

January 16, 2017 by David J. Bercuson

If it does nothing else, let’s hope that the current defence review gets real about what the basic missions of the Canadian Armed Forces should be. It is oft repeated that the CAF’s first mission is the defence of Canada and that its second mission is to help defend North America in conjunction with the…

Face to Face

Face to Face

January 3, 2017 by Legion Magazine

Sometimes political leaders do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s 1963 non-decision on arming U.S. Bomarc air defence missiles stationed on Canadian soil with nuclear warheads was a case study in how not to govern. It flew in the face of Diefenbaker’s own admission that his government’s agreement under the…

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Reclaiming his life

February 17, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
PORTRAIT OF INSPIRATION Canadian ex-paratrooper Dan Matthews still struggles with deep psychological scars Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne Sergeant Dan Matthews was the only one of six paratroopers to escape without a scrape from an Oct. 2, 2003, mine blast in Afghanistan. Now, almost 14 years later, the psychological wounds inflicted on...

Canadian alliances reconfirmed in White House meeting

February 14, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
  They didn’t get much attention in the headlines, but defence issues constituted a significant proportion of talks during the first meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, Feb. 13. Between references to economic policy, women’s issues and border security, Trudeau and his U.S. counterpart reaffirmed key defence...

Regaining control

February 10, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
PORTRAIT OF INSPIRATION Natacha Dupuis, co-captain of Canada’s 2017 Invictus Games team, was inspired by other injured soldiers Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne Master Corporal Natacha Dupuis was on a routine clearing operation in Afghanistan’s Shah Wali Kot district when a roadside bomb took out the Coyote reconnaissance vehicle behind her. It...

New peacekeeping solutions required, says defence minister

February 9, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
Ask veteran soldiers their feelings about peacekeeping missions and chances are you’ll get a negative response. Acting as a third-party referee and police force in areas of hostility is like doing the job with one hand tied behind your back, they’ll say. Strict rules of engagement—preventing peacekeepers from firing unless fired on, for example—endangers...

“It comes with the territory”

February 3, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
PORTRAIT OF INSPIRATION Critically wounded in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, Captain Justin Brunelle has made a remarkable recovery Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne Captain Justin Brunelle of Sudbury, Ont., was a forward observer calling in air and artillery strikes on enemy positions during his second tour in Afghanistan when it happened....

Defence minister says NATO still plays a critical role

February 1, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
The survival of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is not in question, Canada’s defence minister suggested Feb. 1, nor is American involvement in the 68-year-old defence pact. In a wide-ranging interview with Legion Magazine, Harjit Sajjan expressed confidence the treaty will prevail despite President Donald Trump’s threats to withdraw U.S. support. “I’m confident that...

Museum marks air gunner’s place in history

February 1, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
Clark Montgomery spent interminable hours punctuated by moments of sheer terror in the gun turret atop a Lancaster bomber between 1941 and 1945. Now he’s there to stay, one of seven veteran aircrew and one production line worker whose names will be immortalized on plaques inside a restored bomber in Greenwood, N.S. The aircraft...

IF DAY: The occupation of Manitoba

February 1, 2017 by Graham Chandler
On the frigid Winnipeg morning of Feb. 19, 1942, Diane Edgelow’s mother sent her out to buy a loaf of bread. She was 12 years old and got the shock of her life when she crossed the bridge into downtown. “They were guarded by German soldiers; they seemed to be everywhere,” she recalls. “I...

On this date: February 2017

February 1, 2017 by Legion Magazine
1 FEBRUARY 1945 PoW Sgt. Jean Louis Warren escapes from a boxcar headed for Germany and evades capture to war’s end. 2 FEBRUARY 1944 Christmas parcels finally reach 1st Canadian Corps troops fighting near Ortona, Italy. 3 FEBRUARY 1942 The Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force is renamed the RCAF (Women’s Division). 4 FEBRUARY 1917...

U.S. commitment to Norad assured in phone call

January 25, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
The new U.S. defense secretary reaffirmed his country’s commitment to continental defence and North American Air Defence Command (Norad) in a weekend phone call to his Canadian counterpart. In what Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan called “a warm and cordial call,” former Marine Corps general James Mattis thanked him for his leadership and “the deep...

Times change at Sunnybrook

January 24, 2017 by Tom MacGregor
Changing demographics have meant that veterans’ hospitals, such as Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, are experiencing a reduction in waiting times not seen for several generations. Sunnybrook, Canada’s largest veterans’ hospital, has room for 475 veterans, housed in two wings—the Kilgour Wing, named after the family who donated the land for the hospital,...

Alternative medicines need more study

January 23, 2017 by Sharon Adams
Serving military members and veterans with chronic health conditions frequently look beyond traditional medicine in their search for something—anything—to relieve symptoms that are making their lives miserable, or in bureaucratese, “affecting their quality of life.” Often they’re forking out their own money (or veterans’ advocacy groups are doing so on their behalf) to pay...

VC recipient honoured

January 22, 2017 by Tom MacGregor
About 200 people attended a special event for the unveiling of a new headstone on the grave of Victoria Cross recipient Alex Brereton in the farming community of Elnora, Alta. The headstone, supplied by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada, is part of a program to recognize those recipients...
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