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Month: November 2010


New Medal For Overseas Operations

Governor General Michaëlle Jean announced Sept. 8 that the Queen has approved a new service medal that will fill an existing gap in recognizing overseas service. The Operational Service Medal (OSM) was created July 5, 2010, and will be issued with a ribbon specific to the theatre of operations or type of service, including South-West Asia, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Sudan, Humanitas and Expedition. “There are a wide variety of people who are going to be eligible to receive this new medal,” said André Levesque, director of honours and recognition for the Department of National Defence. “Mainly members of Canadian Forces will be awarded, but civilian members who work for the Canadian Forces; the police forces and civilian members who work for the police forces; and those who have been workin...

Murder In Normandy: Army, Part 91

All those involved in the planning for D-Day knew there were two quite separate problems in securing a beachhead. The first task, breaking through the crust of defences known as the Atlantic Wall was rightly seen as the major challenge, but preparation and rigorous training was also required to carry out the advance inland to widen and deepen the bridgehead. The 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, known as the Highland Brigade, had been selected to lead the Canadian advance, so Brigadier D.G. “Ben” Cunningham and his battalion commanders prepared detailed plans. The North Nova Scotia Highlanders, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Petch, and the Sherbrooke Fusiliers, led by Lt.-Col. Mel Gordon, trained together in England where they broke down the barriers to effective infantry-tan...

Future Leaders Shine at Legion Track Meet

In heat and humidity, in perfect conditions and in a deluge of rain, track and field athletes from across Canada showed off their stellar qualities at the 2010 Legion Canadian Youth Track and Field Championships, Aug. 5-9 in Ottawa. In the process they broke 14 Canadian youth records and a total of 24 Legion records. “This is the third year this competition has been the official Canadian youth championships,” said Ontario Lieutenant-Governor David C. Onley during the opening ceremonies. Although known for support of veterans, commemoration and community service, the Legion’s “largest single contribution is to the education and cultural programs for the young,” he said, referring to the competition, the only one of its kind for athletes aged 12 through 17. A record-breaking 828 athlet...
Military History

The Royal Canadian Navy – Service On The Sea

It has been a milestone year for Canada’s navy. Coast to coast to coast, events were held to celebrate the navy’s 100th anniversary. Since January, we’ve presented a selection of stories that examine the navy’s past and present, including features on the service’s wartime and peacetime contributions as well as last June’s colourful International Fleet Review in Halifax. We thought it would be fitting to finish the centennial year with a photo salute representing a cross-section of ships that have served Canada so well. The biggest salute though goes to the men and women who have manned these and the myriad of other vessels since 1910. Enjoy. Email the writer at: [email protected] Email a letter to the editor at: [email protected]

Signature Book Tells Many Stories

When Sergeant Renay Groves started Notes From Home, a collection of well wishes for Canadian troops in Afghanistan, she never knew how much the project would grow. It started as a small homemade book of 3,000 messages and over four years has grown to 80,000 signatures. Groves, a scrapbook savvy lady, started the book as a response to citizen reactions. She found when she was walking around in uniform people would approach her and say thank you for her work and the work Canada is doing in Afghanistan. At the time, she hadn’t been to Afghanistan, so she told them she would send their message to the troops. “My intention was simply to say thank you to the Canadian troops in Afghanistan,” said Groves who has since been to Afghanistan twice. “One night after my kids went to bed, I sat dow...

Vanishing Veterans

Veteran Luke Carmichael, 69, knows it takes special survival skills to live in a tent through winters on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Rain socks in for days at a time and from October through February, gale after gale pounds the coast; windblown moisture, mist and humidity are bound to make your sleeping bag feel damp even if the tent keeps the rain out. Once you’re wet, the cold chills to the bone and drying out by a campfire in winter is no picnic. A former warrant officer with 19 years and two months service, mostly in the Canadian Airborne Regiment, Carmichael has been homeless for most of the last decade, living in a tent under a tarp in the bush near Jordan River. “My whole life revolved around getting food and keeping warm,” he explains. “I kept warm sitting by the fir...

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