Friday, March 30, 2007

CF-18 Contract Signed

March 30, 2007

Contract Signed for CF-18 Advanced Multi-Role Infrared Sensor

OTTAWA, ONTARIO-- The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, announced today the contract award for the CF-18 Advanced Multi-Role Infrared Sensor (AMIRS) project. This contract is part of the larger CF-18 modernization project, initiated in 2001, to ensure that Canada has a state-of-the art CF-18 fighter force that remains modern, effective and operationally credible."The Advanced Multi-Role Infrared Sensor is a key component of CF-18 modernization and another example of how defence procurement has been streamlined to ensure a competitive, fair, open, and transparent process," said Minster O'Connor. "It also once again reflects this Government's commitment to deliver the best value for Canadian taxpayers while also ensuring that the men and women of the Canadian Forces receive the right equipment and capabilities they need to do the demanding jobs asked of them, and that they have it when they need it.""We are supporting Canadian troops and promoting Canada's interest by purchasing modern equipment for the Canadian Forces as quickly and as efficiently as possible," said Micheal M. Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.The Advanced Multi-Role Infrared Sensor is a targeting pod that is mounted on the weapons station of the CF-18. It is a state of the art electro-optic and infrared sensor, which includes a laser designator, a laser marker and a tactical data link capability."The AMIRS pod will provide the CF-18 with enhanced targeting as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that make it an invaluable asset for the Canadian Forces' air, land and sea operations," said Lieutenant-General Steve Lucas, Chief of the Air Staff. "The modernized, combat-effective, multi-purpose and globally deployable CF-18 fleet will continue to play an important role over the next decade as the Air Force transforms to meet the 21st century security needs of Canada."The contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin following a competitive procurement process. The total contract value is estimated at $126 million, which includes $101 million for the acquisition of 36 AMIRS pods and $25 million for in-service support through to 2020. Canada will take delivery of the first AMIRS pod in the spring of 2007, with an initial operational capability delivered by April 2008.The Full Economic Benefits Policy applies to this contract, meaning that Lockheed Martin will generate one dollar of economic activity in Canada for every dollar it receives from the contract."This is another example of how the Government of Canada is leveraging defence procurements, not only providing the equipment our Canadian Forces need, but also providing real opportunities for Canadian industry," said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry.The CF-18 is Canada's multi-purpose, high-performance, twin-engine tactical fighter jet. Its primary roles include air defence, training, close air support and offence counter-air.

Source: Department of National Defence

Regarding the U of T

Oh.. the soldier that spoke at the University of Toronto today? .. was my son! :)

Information Please...

If in Toronto, see one of our soldiers speak at the U of T today. This is the info on the meeting:

What are Canadian soldiers doing in Afghanistan? Why not ask one?

Friday, March 30, 2007
3:00pm - 4:00pm
The Bahen Centre for Information Technology, Rm. B025
University of Toronto
40 George Street
Toronto, ON
Contact - 416-523-2641
Or email:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Canada's "Crazy Eights"

This is a program you may not want to miss as it takes place at a time when many families and friends were there. It also gives a perspective of what it's like for our soldiers to be in Afghanistan. It is being held Thursday, March 29th at 8:00 pm on CBC.

90th Parallel and CBC Television present:
Thursday, March 29th - 8 p.m.

Filmmaker Gordon Henderson joins Eight Platoon Charles Company for an intimate portrait of Canadian soldiers at war in AfghanistanWorld Premiere on CBC “THE DOC-ZONE” MARCH 29, 2007 – 8PMArmed with cameras, filmmaker Gordon Henderson spent the month of October 2006 in Afghanistan with Canadian troops. The Crazy Eights is an intimate video journal of his time with The Royal Canadian Regiment Charles Company Eight Platoon.* * *

The Crazy Eights have suffered more than any other Canadian military unit in the war. Over Labour Day 2006 weekend, the platoon was in the thick of Operation Medusa, the biggest battle Canadians have been in since the Korean War. Then the next morning, the platoon was strafed by an American plane. An A10 Warthog literally gunned them down in friendly fire. There were only eight soldiers left standing. Henderson and cameramen Jerry Vienneau were with Eight Platoon while it was rebuilding at Spin Boldak near the Pakistan border and as it was patrolling the front lines of Panjwaii, “I wanted to experience the soldier’s everyday life,” says Gordon Henderson. “The Crazy Eights is not an analysis of the war. Its purpose is to give Canadians a sense of what our soldiers are going through.” So Henderson and Vienneau stayed with The Crazy Eights. “We ate with them, slept in the incredibly dusty trenches with them and hung out with them. When they went on patrol, we went with them.”At Spin Boldak, or Forward Operating Base Costall, veterans of September’s devastation were regrouping, resting and healing. Henderson and Vienneau were with The Crazy Eights as the platoon was being reconstituted and replacements were coming on. It was an extraordinarily intimate time to share with a platoon.Henderson remembers: “The guys were friendly but cautious at first, but when they saw us in Panjwaii, where most Canadians have been killed, they really welcomed us.”Much of film takes place in Panjwaii -- in convoys, on foot patrol and with the soldiers as they checked out suspicious intruders. There was one particularly tense night in Panjwaii when Taliban had been spotted nearby. “For the first time in my life,” Henderson says, “I was ordered to sleep with my boots on.”Henderson’s main memories: playing chess with Corporal Bellamy as he talked emotionally about Medusa ("No one can prepare you for that."), listening to Private Keegan urge the Maple Leafs on ("I could die and never see the Leafs win the Stanley Cup. Keep that on your conscience, boys.") And dust, dust, dust.The Crazy Eights stayed out in the Panjwaii dust for fifty-seven days straight. They returned to Canada in February.Producer, director and writer of “The Crazy Eights” is Gordon Henderson. Jerry Vienneau was behind the camera in Afghanistan and Geoff Matheson was editor of “The Crazy Eights”.
To see a journal or more information:

8 Year old Donates to Our Soldiers

Joe Warmington, a columnist for the "Suns" and a constant supporter of our troops

(Joe had initiated the "Red Friday Rally" in Toronto.) .. thank you Joe W.! :)
Well yesterday, he wrote this article which I found intriguing..
If an 8 year old girl can do this.. what can the rest of Canada do?

March 28, 2007
A little girl made a big decision for her 8th birthday and brought some music into the lives of some wounded Canadian soldiers ...

She could have gotten a new iPod for her eighth birthday.
But Erin McClary sings a different tune, and wanted a wounded Canadian soldier to have it instead.
In fact, she accepted no presents at all -- instead asking every guest invited to her birthday party Sunday in her hometown of Washago to bring some money in lieu of.
They did -- $2,830 to be precise. Her party ended up having 49 people -- all gung-ho and just as impressive with their donations. "It was really something," said her mom, Maureen, who with husband Patrick and their 5-year-old son Daniel are proud of their new celebrity. "So many people wanted to do their part."
It takes kids to teach some lessons sometimes.
"I really wanted to do something for our soldiers," explains Erin.
And there you (and I) were becoming all cynical thanks to the latest scandal involving greedy lotto insiders. There's still some good stories out there, folks. And some good people.
"She is a national treasure," says Capt. Wayne Johnston, who was overwhelmed when he heard about this little girl in Washago who wanted to do something for her troops.
Erin said it was simple to her. "I don't need any (more toys). I just want to help them," she said. "My mom showed me the story about the wounded soldiers in the newspaper and I wanted to raise some money for this."
The story was about Sapper Mike McTeague, badly wounded by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan last September. His dad had helped start the Wounded Warrior Fund to assist soldiers during their time in recovery.
Having visited Mike several times in hospital, let me tell you it's hard time for them. And when over in Germany at the U.S. military hospital, Capt. Johnston noticed that while they had everything medically they needed, there was little to occupy their minds.
So in the name of McTeague the fund was started to raise some cash so that a kit could be readied to send to a soldier at a moment's notice. In it would be things like iPods and MP3 players, and DVDs and CDs, and perhaps a Team Canada hockey sweater and some other treats.
It's so important because remember some hospitals charge for phone and TV rentals -- and that can add up if you are in there for a year. Believe me, some of them have.
Mike McTeague is one -- although the Miracle Kid is on his way back. And he was there Sunday at Erin's party. "I was kind of shaky because I was so excited to meet him," she said. "I told him he is a real hero."
She ought to know about heroes because it's selfless like hers that's the definition for me. When they hand out the Order of Canada medals next time, her name likely won't be there but should be instead of some political hack.
Her timing is perfect since, sadly, we may be mere weeks away from potential severe warfare and more casualties. The fund is ready. "We have raised more than $75,000," said Johnston, another guy who should get one of those Orders of Canada.
Don Cherry, who everyone knows amazingly is not a member of the Order either, is a huge supporter of this program.

If you want to help out, you can send any donation to :

Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund

P.O. Box 141,
Stn Brooklin,
Whitby, Ont.,
L1M 1B5

Web Site ...or attend a function March 29th featuring Canada's Three Tenors at 7:30 at the Immaculate Conception Church, 300 Ansley Grove Rd., in Woodbridge.
We all wonder how difficult it is to get this stuff for our soldiers -- yet someone like fired Ontario Lottery Corp. boss Duncan Brown can get a severance package for 10 times more at $750,000. It's nuts. I say, take it back and put that money for healing troops. Until logic like that kicks in, it will be people like an 8-year-old girl named Erin who have the back of the men and women who risk it all in our name. I still think the kid should get an iPod for her birthday, but she said she'd donate it to a wounded soldier anyway.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

2 Canadian Soldiers Injured

These are the times as families and friends when we hold our breaths and the prayers grow strong....

2 Canadian Troops Injured After Convoy Ambushed and Hit by Suicide Car Bomber
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
SPERWIN GHAR, Afghanistan (CP) - Two Canadian soldiers were injured when their LAV-3 armoured vehicle was damaged by a suicide car bomber minutes after fighting through a Taliban ambush.
The convoy of three LAV-3s was fired on by rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire Monday night a few kilometres east of Patrol Base Wilson in Zhari district, military officials said Tuesday.
The convoy was then hit by a suicide car bomber on the outskirts of Kandahar city in an area known as ambush alley.
Capt. Allen and Master Cpl Whalen shown here March 27th

Capt. Matt Allen, the commander of the convoy, had nothing but praise for the way his soldiers, members of the Royal Canadian Regiment battle group, responded to the Taliban attacks.
"They were brilliant, their performance was outstanding," Allen told The Canadian Press as his tired troops unloaded a LAV-3 that suffered four destroyed tires.
"It seemed like an hour but it was under a minute. And then things were sorted out and we kept going."
One soldier suffered a badly broken arm and was to be transported to Germany for treatment.
The other soldier suffered minor injuries. They were not identified.
After the suicide car bomb exploded the convoy continued to limp along until it linked up with troops of Charlie company, 3 Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
Soldiers from India company of the 2 RCR swept the ambush site but didn't find any of the insurgents.
During the ambush soldiers in the convoy returned fire with machine guns. There were no reports of Taliban casualties.
Units from the Gagetown, N.B.-based battle group have been reporting a spike in roadside bombs and random rocket attacks this week in the Zhari, Panjwaii and Maywand districts.
Most of the attacks have occurred between the main highway and the Arghandab river, an area of poppy farms and vineyards that is starting to green up under the hot spring sun.
Afghan security troops have been warning the Canadians to expect more Taliban activity because of the increased foliage, which provides cover for the insurgents.
Military officials have said they don't expect the Taliban to engage them in stand-up fights this year after hundreds of insurgents will killed in battles last summer in the Panjwaii.
Allen said his soldiers, members of 6 platoon, Hotel company, bounced back quickly from the ordeal.
He cited the performance of the two injured soldiers, who didn't report they were hurt until after the attack.
"They continued to perform their jobs like there was nothing wrong with them," said Allen, who is from Lindsay, Ont.
"When the opportunity presented itself to stop and assess it, that's when they reported their injuries. It was amazing."
Allen said his platoon has been together for two years and is a tight group.
He said the plan is to fix the damage and move on.
"Change the tires, good to go," he said.

Monday, March 26, 2007

March 31st Meet 'n Greet

The next meeting of:
will be held on


at 7:30 P.M.


7:30 p.m. Come out and meet and greet in the members’ lounge
New members are always welcome!

Featuring guest speaker - Sheila Lupson is the Executive Director of the London Military Family Resource Centre. She will be giving a presentation on post deployment and provide literature and pamphlets on “Battlemind”. After her presentation, she will be available to answer your questions.


From Kitchener or out-of-town: Take 86 North (Conestoga Parkway) and take the Northfield exit (one exit past King St.). Exit at Northfield, keep right and proceed over expressway. Turn left onto Parkside Drive (at lights), and then left onto Weber. Go over the hill and turn immediately left onto Dutton Dr. The facility is located at the end of the road.

From Waterloo or downtown:
Follow Weber St. N. and go past Albert St. (traffic lights) and turn right onto Dutton Dr. before going over the hill.

To R.S.V.P. or for further information, email: focsia@hotmail or phone Kerry at 519-888-9398
RSVP before March 30-07

St Paddy's Day Parade

Wear Red on Fridays
March 17th, 2007
It was a cold blustery day, but nothing dampened the spirits of the Families of Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan. Participating in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Listowel, brought applause along the street in support of our troops serving in Afghanistan and bringing recognition to wearing red on Fridays. It was a day to be proud of. Thank you Lynn for submitting us into the parade... and ... we won 2nd prize in the parade that day!!

Marching along Main Street in Listowel, ON
Putting the final touches on the shamrocks.
Thank you Cpl Hunt for building this for us!
(Kerry must be cold in the background:)

The Canadian flags blew in the north wind.
("True North strong and free")

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Grade 12 Students Support Our Troops

Student "Coffee House" Will Raise Support
for Canadian Troops in Afghanistan

Students in the Grade 12 entrepreneurship class at North Nova Education Centre in New Glasgow aim to raise money to send comfort packages to soldiers in Afghanistan. Clockwise from top left are: Melanie Kenny, Aaron Settle, Holly Grant, Kimberly Grant and Maggie Wilson.

NEW GLASGOW- A grade 12 course at North Nova Education Centre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia requires students to complete four ventures - with at least one charitable fundraiser.

Brainstorming began in their senior entrepreneurship course. They were inspired by a suggestion of a "Coffee House" - taking a life of it's own.
A brother of classmate Maggie Wilson is serving in Afghanistan and the group felt a kinship with the soldiers and wanted to help them. Preparations began in preparations of the March 29th event to support Canadian troops in Afghanistan.
All the money raised will be going to support the troops. Funds will be used to prepare care packages - sending a little bit of home to Afghanistan.
Starting out small (just for the school) the idea grew and it was soon opened to the public.
Performances by staff (singer- songwriter Jakki Rogue) and relatives (well known fiddler Fleur Mainville) offered to perform.

The plans gained momentum when area businesses began donating food, drink, equipement ase well as items for door prizes. The students' parent have begun baking.
The grade 12 group began advertising and arranged for the school's production class to handle the sound equipment.

North Nova Education Centre
New Glasgow, NS
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Doors open at 6:30 pm
Entertainment and snacks at 7pm-10 pm
The entry fee - a donation at the door.
Coffee and Snacks available for purchase.

Join and thank these students -our new entrepreneurs - our bright future.

Support our Troops - Join them at Coffee House Night

Friday, March 23, 2007

Petition for Master Cpl Fraser

Online Petition Started For Soldier Charged With Manslaughter

The family of a CFB Shilo soldier charged with manslaughter has launched a website and petition in an effort to clear him of wrongdoing in the death of a fellow member of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
A brother of Master Cpl. Robbie Fraser says on the website that the death of 33-year-old Master Cpl. Jeffrey Walsh, also of CFB Shilo, was a “tragic accident” for which his brother has “already suffered immensely” since the incident last Aug. 9 near Kandahar.
Greg Fraser is seeking signatures for a petition aimed at imploring the federal government and military to withdraw the charge of manslaughter — which he notes carries a prison sentence of four years to life .
On the web: The family of a CFB Shilo soldier charged with manslaughter has launched a website and petition in an effort to clear him of wrongdoing in the death of a fellow member of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
A brother of Master Cpl. Robbie Fraser says on the website that the death of 33-year-old Master Cpl. Jeffrey Walsh, also of CFB Shilo, was a “tragic accident” for which his brother has “already suffered immensely” since the incident last Aug. 9 near Kandahar.
Greg Fraser is seeking signatures for a petition aimed at imploring the federal government and military to withdraw the charge of manslaughter — which he notes carries a prison sentence of four years to life .
To download a petition and to post a comment, go to Greg Fraser's Website:
A special thank you to another military mom (Rosemary) for bringing this to our attention.


Five Taliban Prisoners Freed
.....In Exchange for Hostage

Yesterday, 5 Taliban prisoners were released back to the Taliban in exchange for the Italian reporter they were holding hostage. The reporter, Daniele Mastrogiacomo had witnessed the decapitation of his Afghan driver being held during the two weeks in captivity. He is alive and safe now. On the other side, one of the Taliban prisoners did not wish to be released to the insurgients. Was this a good deal on behalf of the Afghan government? Will there be any repercussions?

1:15 AM KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Italy's deputy foreign affairs minister confirmed Wednesday that the Afghan government released five Taliban prisoners to win the freedom of a reporter who had been kidnapped in lawless Helmand province.Daniele Mastrogiacomo, who writes for Italy's La Repubblica newspaper, was freed Monday after two weeks in captivity. He had been seized in southern Helmand province with his Afghan driver, who was beheaded, and his translator, whose whereabouts are unknown.Though the Afghan government called the swap "an exceptional case," the deal was sharply criticized."When we create situations where you can buy the freedom of Taliban fighters when you catch a journalist, in the short term there will be no journalists anymore," the Dutch foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen, said during a visit to Kabul on Wednesday. more...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Support Our Troops Through Sears

An Additional Way for Canadians
Support the Troops
Canadians wanting to support the troops now have another option. CANEX, a division of the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA), has coordinated with Sears Canada to provide official "Support Our Troops" merchandise in Sears Canada retail stores across the country.

Official CFPSA Support Our Troops merchandise includes ball caps, t-shirts, car and fridge
magnets, cling vinyl window decals, bracelets, lapel pins, and more.

T-Shirts are only $12.99 and ball caps only $9.99.
Canadians can now purchase official Support Our Troops t-shirts and ball caps at Sears Canada, with two dollars from each purchase going back to morale and welfare programs for CF members and their families.

To purchase other Support Our Troops items, order online through CANEX at or through (Families of Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan)
"All proceeds from the sales of CFPSA "Support Our Troops" items are reinvested directly into morale and welfare programs for CF members and their families"


CFPSA develops and delivers morale and welfare programs, activities and services to members of the CF and their families, in Canada and overseas. These activities include sports and recreation, health and fitness, family services, retail operations, financial services and, mess management. In addition, the CFPSA deploys approximately 60 civilian personnel per six-month rotation to Afghanistan to conduct morale and welfare programs.

600 Afghans Rescued by NATO-Led Troops

NATO evacuates 600 in Afghanistan floods
KABUL: NATO-led troops used helicopters to evacuate some 600 stranded villagers in southern Afghanistan after their homes were destroyed by widespread flooding, the alliance says.
Despite poor weather and persistent rainfall, Dutch and American helicopters managed to land and rescue people in the border regions between the southern provinces of Helmand and Uruzgan, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement."In some cases, ISAF had to persuade frightened people to accept being hoisted out of danger," the statement said.
The rescue operation happened at the time when NATO is conducting its largest ever offensive in southern Afghanistan, aimed at winning over a population long supportive of militant fighters.
The UN mission to Afghanistan together with the government have prepared food, tents, tarpaulins and blankets for an estimated 400 affected families, said Aleem Siddique, a UN spokesman.
Heavy rains triggered floods in Afghanistan's south and east, destroying homes and fields and killing several people, officials said.

Harper Would Like to See More Support for Soldiers

Stephen Harper would "like to see more support
in the House of Commons from all sides
for Canadian men and women in uniform."

March 21, 2007

"Mr. Speaker, I can understand the passion that the Leader of the Opposition and members of his party feel for Taliban prisoners. I just wish occasionally they would show the same passion for Canadian soldiers," Mr. Harper told the House of Commons replying to Liberal Stephane Dion to a standing ovation from his caucus.
Mr. Harper's comments were reminiscent of his allegations last month that the Liberals are "soft on terrorism" and refused to extend anti-terrorism measures in order to protect the family of a Liberal MP.
Mr. Harper refused to apologize, saying he simply wants to defend the military.
"I would like to see more support in the House of Commons from all sides for Canadian men and women in uniform," he said.
"I think Canadians expect that from parliamentarians in every party. They have not been getting it, and they deserve it."

Comments today in the House of Commons' Question Period, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said this in response to Stephane Dion's request for the resignation of Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor.
Stephane Dion

Jason Kenney, the secretary of state for multiculturalism, later said Mr. Harper was simply laying out facts.

"All [the Liberals] ever seem to do is ask questions about Taliban prisoners and not the condition of our troops, and I think the Prime Minister was pointing out the obvious," Mr. Kenney said.

Mr. O'Connor had rendered a public apology maintaining that detainees are in good hands in Afghanistan. "We have engaged the Afghan Human Rights Commission that will go into the Afghan system and be able to check to see how the detainees are treated. It will report back to us if there is any maltreatment," the Defence Minister said.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Soldiers and dog Injured

Soldiers Injured Near Kandahar City

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Just hours after the governor of Kandahar province urged village elders to reject the Taliban, a bomb exploded in this troubled district west of Kandahar City, wounding a Canadian soldier, severely injuring a civilian dog handler and killing his dog. “The best way to ensure your own security is to stop supporting Taliban activity,” Asadullah Khalid told almost 200 district elders gathered for a special meeting in the village of Pasab. “Don’t let them in.” But somebody apparently did let them in, or, at the very least, did nothing to get them out. Just four hours after Khalid’s speech, a Canadian patrol set off a homemade land mine, or improvised explosive device, near the neighbouring village of Amadkhan, 36 kilometers west of Kandahar City. Both the Canadian and the dog handler, who is employed by the U.S.-based company, American K-9, were flown by helicopter to the Canadian-led hospital at Kandahar Airfield Base where they are being treated. Lieut. John Nethercott, a spokesman for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, said the soldier sustained "non-threatening injuries," while the dog handler was "very seriously injured." "The next of kin of both the soldier and the dog handler have been notified," Nethercott said. The explosion was actually the second of the day. At noon a Canadian armoured Coyote reconnaissance vehicle hit an IED near Ahmadkhan, a village west of Kandahar City, during a patrol. The blast damaged the vehicle but did not injure any soldiers. After the disabled vehicle was recovered, a team- a second team, with the bomb- detecting dog, was sent out to the scene to determine if there were any other IEDs in the area and inadvertently triggered the second bomb. the dog was searching for explosives near a village about 36 kilometres west of Kandahar City when the roadside bomb exploded.

Is the "Military Seducing Young?"

Andria Hill- Lehr Says : "Military Seduces Young" ,
Whose son is in Afghanistan, complains of "brainwashing"

Andria Hill-Lehr of Wolfville says the Canadian military is seducing young Canadians into joining the Armed Forces. The mother of a reservist in Afghanistan is writing a book on the subject. (Ian Fairclough / Herald)

WOLFVILLE — The military is seducing impressionable youth into service in the Armed Forces, says the mother of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan.
Andria Hill-Lehr says youth of all ages are being led to join the military before they have the ability to think critically.

She said Forces’ advertisements, shown at movie theatres, target teens. She also said the cadet program starts as young as age 12 and puts youth in touch with military life.

"We’ve used words like brainwashing and indoctrination and they’ve lost their emphasis," she said. Now she uses the word seduction. The Wolfville mom spoke on the issue at a Voice of Women for Peace rally in Halifax last month and she is writing a book for Pottersfield Press, a Halifax County publishing company.

She said teens who become involved in cadets, the reserves and the regular forces are being taught to follow when they should be learning to lead and to think for themselves.

"The cadet (program) promotes itself as providing friendship, fun, adventures and challenges, but if that’s what’s important to parents, there are other ways to get it without promoting the military culture.

"Some parents see it as the opposite of joining a street gang," Ms. Hill-Lehr said.
She said youth could do volunteer work with aid groups, such as Crossroads and Oxfam.
The federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars on the cadet program but nothing on Scouts Canada, which has more members, she said.

"If it’s all about citizenship and community, how come the guides and scouts aren’t getting that kind of support?"

She said her concerns are not based on the fact that her 23-year-old reservist son, Master Cpl. Garrow Hill-Stosky, and other Canadians are in Afghanistan.

Canada does need an army, she said, but it shouldn’t be developed through enticement of teenagers. She believes reserves should be restricted to people 18 years and older.

Ahhhh... yesssss.. now I remember Andria Hill-Lehr:

In Halifax, on October 28th, 2006 at a war protest Rally (the month before her son's deployment) she was quoted as saying: "Right now I am ashamed of wearing a Canadian flag on my back."
She had said she supports her son's decision to enlist but worries his spirit will be changed forever.

I received a message from an anonymous writer:
Anonymous said...
I think this mom is rightly concerned. My 18 year old son went into the recruiting office to sign up for the Co-op program and instead enlisted in the Infantry. I do believe he was pressured by the recruiter. He is currently finishing his basic training and has been told he will be going overseas next Feb. I am proud of him but also angry he was pressured into rushing into things.

I have found the answers for her/him and anyone else wondering about the recruitment protocol:

To apply :
1) An applicant must bring a school transcrpipt to the recruitment centre showing at least 15 high school Credits as well as a social insurance card and birth certificate.
2) He or she must also be at least 17 years old and not facing criminal charges.
3) Applicants have to write a two hour aptitude test, which helps predict which trades they're likely to excel in.
4) Military career counsellors then meet with applicants to determine wheather they are suitable and eligible for one of the three trades they're considering in either the regular or reserve forces.
5) "You are NEVER forced into a trade that you don't want" (per Lieut. Stephen Churm of the Canadian Forces district recruiting centre in Hamilton)
6) The next step is the medical exam.
7) If everything up to that stage has gone smoothly, the military might offer an applicant a job within a week.
8) "The individual applying has complete control over the process." said Lieut. Churm
There is no longer a fitness test in the recruiting process, however, regular force soldiers who don't make the cut at the military's recruit school in St. Jearn, Que., are put inot a "fitness platoon," where they are brought up to standard through exercise training.

Trivia fact: This was the same rally Jack Layton attended - however in Toronto and said in a television interview that "Canada's goals in Afghanistan are not being achieved, and Ottawa is spending much more on the war effort than reconstruction." Well Jack, ask any returning soldier about reconstruction. .. or check the stats below:

Reconstruction and humanitarian efforts continue alongside the mission. In fact, some aspects of the augmentation of CF capabilities, including additional engineering personnel and equipment, are also intended to enhance the capacity of the Provincial Reconstruction Team to achieve its objectives and to protect itself. Military project managers (military engineers) will serve to enhance the PRT’s capability to manage quick impact reconstruction and development projects.

The following Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team highlights listed below are only some of their achievements since February 2006:

  • Nine village medical outreach visits were organized in conjunction with the Battle Group around Kandahar Province. More than 2000 Afghan people received basic medical care and material assistance in remote areas from Panjwai to Mienishin.

  • The KPRT participated in International Women’s Day and supported the celebration. Two Women’s wellness session took place. One at the Directorate of Women’s affairs building and one at the Kandahar Prison. The goal of these sessions is to improve quality of life of women and inform them on Government activities.

  • The KPRT distributed more than 6,000 donated school kits to children around Kandahar Province and donated 100 bicycles to the Ministry of Education for the end of year awards.

  • The KPRT continued and improved on the Mechanic Repair Operation to support the Afghan National Police. As a result, local Afghans received training and are working to repair Afghan National Police (ANP) vehicles. More vehicles mean more patrols, and more patrols mean better security for the people of Kandahar.

  • The KPRT donated computers and constructed a water distribution system for Kandahar University. The KPRT also purchased a generator to provide enough power for courses to carry on during days where there is no electricity in the city.

  • The KPRT employed more than 100 Afghans and engaged many local businesses for projects at Camp Nathan Smith, which represented approximately $3 million CAD spent in the local economy.
As well, Canada decided to send the Armoured Engineering Vehicle, known as a Badger, for its multiple capabilities to assist with both stabilization and reconstruction efforts. The Badger is well suited to activities where civilian equipment could be destroyed or disabled.

These capabilities include:
- A crane with a maximum lifting capacity of 7.8 tonnes;
- A dozer blade that can be used to clear rubble and level surfaces;
- An excavator bucket that can move up to 270 cubic meters of material per hour;
- An excavator arm that can be fitted with two grappling teeth for picking up large objects;
- An electric welding and cutting unit that can assist with construction efforts;
- A CAPSTAN winch with a pulling capacity of 35 tonnes with 90 meters of cable;
- The Badger can carry and deploy the class 60 Track Way – a portable road – that can be used to repair conventional roads and airport runways; and,
-A number of hydraulic tools such as a jackhammer and impact wrenches.

Reconstruction? Yes, I believe reconstruction happened and is happening.. through dust and rain all the whilst, protecting themselves. What do you think?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Get Well Cards for Master Cpl Fitzgerald

Get Well Cards
Master Cpl. Fitzgerald

A member of a local legion is looking for your get well wishes after one of his colleagues was attacked at a Morrisburg bar. Master Corporal Collin Fitzgerald was beaten up by four men Saturday night. Witnesses say the soldier was taunted about his hero status after he was awarded a medal of military valour last month for his heroic actions in Afghanistan. 21 year old Travis Baldwin has been charged with aggravated assault.

Morrisburg legion acting President George Davies told AM 1220 News he will deliver any cards you may want to send.

Let's show Master Cpl Fitzgerald know we care.
Send cards of good wishes to:

Att: Master Cpl. Collin Fitzgerald
c/o President George Davies
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 48,
10 Colin St.,
Morrisburg, Ontario, K0C 1X0

M.P. Wants Charges Dropped

Wayne Easter MP of Malpeque, PEI
The Guardian

Charging a P.E.I. soldier with manslaughter in the death of his friend and comrade in Afghanistan only makes the tragedy even worse, a P.E.I. MP says. Malpeque MP Wayne Easter will meet Monday with Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor to plead the case of Master Cpl. Robbie Fraser, who has been charged in the shooting death of Master Cpl. Jeffrey Walsh during a routine patrol outside of Kandahar on Aug. 9. Easter is also encouraging Canadians who share his concerns to start a petition calling on the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service to drop the charges against Fraser. “Why make a tragedy even worse by inflicting greater pain on the family whose son and husband died because they feel for Robbie Fraser and his family, and also why inflict greater pain on the family of Robbie Fraser, who served Canada well,’’ Easter told The Guardian Friday after meeting with Fraser’s family. The wife of the fallen solider also doesn’t agree with the charges laid against Fraser. Julie Mason said Fraser and her husband were close friends. “I’ve just let Rob know that I’m here for him. He’s going through enough,’’ Mason, a 29-year-old mother of three children, told a Winnipeg-based newspaper. “I don’t agree with what has been given to him as charges go. Rob was a good friend of Jeff, and what is taking place right now I don’t agree with. I can’t go into any more detail as to why I don’t agree, but I don’t.’’ Meanwhile, there has been an outpouring of support for Fraser, who grew up in Cornwall, P.E.I. Dozens and dozens of people have written The Guardian since word of his Island connections were made public in the newspaper Friday. Nearly all the letter writers offered support. Jamie Blacquiere of Charlottetown writes: “Anyone that knows Robbie knows that he would be torn apart by this terrible accident, and now to bring him to the forefront to make an example of him is a slap in the face to his family, his friends and to the country that he so bravely fights for to uphold the freedoms and beliefs that we all enjoy.’’ Others shared childhood memories of Fraser. “I grew up with you and went to school with you and know you are a good person,’’ writes Jimmy from Calgary. “It shocked me this morning to see Robbie’s picture on the front of the paper,’’ Christa writes. “Until today, the solider who accidentally shot his fellow soldier was faceless.’’ Lori Doiron of Halifax had simple words of encouragement: “Robbie, our support and prayers are with you.’’ In his first public interview, Fraser’s father said he believed the military was making an unfair example of his son. Kevin Fraser of South Rustico told The Guardian he believes his son is largely suffering in silence through an ordeal that could end his military career. He met with the Malpeque MP Friday. Manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. “He doesn’t let on to us down here as bad as it is but it is weighing heavy on him.’’ Easter said nothing can be gained by charging Fraser. “Making an example of this individual who has lost his best friend — he’s suffering enough as it is wrong.’’

Friday, March 16, 2007

Grieving Father Lashes Out

Grieving Father Lashes Out

Ben Walsh, with a portrait of his son Jeff Walsh, in his Regina home last night. A Canadian soldier has been charged with manslaughter in Jeff Walsh’s death last summer.

Dead soldier’s family angry over military’s
handling of manslaughter investigation
Mar 13, 2007 04:30 AM Bruce Campion-Smith OTTAWA BUREAU
OTTAWA–A grieving father is slamming Canadian military police officers who probed his soldier son's death in Afghanistan, saying the family was kept in the dark while the investigation dragged on for months.
"I don't like any family being treated like we've been treated ... . They certainly have a lot to learn in dealing with the public and grieving families," an emotional Ben Walsh said last night.
The retired Mountie had harsh words for the shabby treatment served up by military investigators on the same day that a manslaughter charge was laid against a soldier in connection with the death last August of his son, Master Cpl. Jeffrey Walsh.
Master Cpl. Robbie Fraser, a member of Walsh's regiment based at CFB Shilo in Manitoba, was also charged with one count of negligent performance of duty.
Walsh died while on a patrol west of Kandahar. Last week, another Canadian soldier died in his tent after being shot in an apparent accidental discharge of a rifle. That shooting is still being investigated.
Last night, Walsh and his wife Margie called Fraser to express their sympathy and concern for the suffering that soldier was facing, too.
"My wife and I, we know what pain we went through. There's nothing now that is going to bring back our son," he said.
"It was just a routine chat. I told him he certainly should get good legal counsel and I hoped to meet him one day and just to hang in there.
"You cannot go on hating people. It's not right. We can only be there and I hope one day we will meet Robbie."
Fraser's mother called the Walsh family later to express her appreciation for the gesture.
Jeff Walsh, a 33-year-old father of three, was just six days into his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was killed. From the outset, military investigators made it clear that enemy action wasn't suspected but were tight-lipped about the exact circumstances.
But yesterday, they revealed that Walsh was sitting beside Fraser in the back seat of a G-wagon when a rifle discharged.
"A shot was fired and Master Cpl. Walsh was hit," said Lieut.-Cmdr. Pierre Babinsky, spokesperson for the Canadian Forces legal services.
Walsh had nothing good to say about the Canadian Forces' National Investigation Service, the special branch of the military police that looks into sensitive incidents and was responsible for yesterday's charges.
"They're in a domain of their own and I think they express the attitude that they're untouchable," he said in telephone interview yesterday from his Regina home.
"I will not let this rest ... . Like I told them, `I'm not done with you yet.' I do hope they learn from this. That's all I want – that they treat families in a fair, fair way."
The veteran police investigator said he was at a loss to explain how an investigation into the shooting in the back of an army vehicle could take seven months to wrap up.
As the investigation dragged on, Walsh said he wrote the Provost Marshal – the military's top cop – as well as Gen. Rick Hillier, the chief of defence staff, seeking answers.
It was only after his wife got on the phone crying in frustration that a military prosecutor – not the NIS – provided a few responses to questions posed by the family.
"I told them I've done murders, rapes and major crimes and sat down with families and opened the files up. They don't believe in that," said Walsh, who did praise the support offered by staff at CFB Shilo.
Walsh says he also spoke yesterday to the family of Cpl. Kevin Megeney, a 25-year-old reservist, shot and killed in an apparent accidental shooting in his tent last week.
The National Investigation Service is probing that shooting, too, and Walsh said he hopes the Megeney family fares better.
"My main concern is to not see the Megeney family have this dragged on for seven or eight months," he said.
Babinsky defended the length of investigation, calling it a "complex" probe.
"These are very serious charges. The National Investigation Service took the time it needed to ensure that the investigation was thorough, was complete," Babinsky said.
"When you end up charging someone under these accusations, you want to make sure there's no second guessing."
Because the manslaughter charge against Fraser was laid under the Criminal Code, he could face the same penalties as a civilian – a minimum term of four years and maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted.
The case now goes to Fraser's commanding officer, who together with legal advisers determines if the charges will proceed, said Babinsky.
From there it gets referred through the chain of command to the director of military prosecutions, in essence the Canadian Forces' "Crown attorney," for review if there's enough evidence for a "reasonable" prospect of conviction.
If evidence warrants, a formal charge paper is submitted to the court martial administrator who will convene a court martial, likely to be held at CFB Shilo.
It's up to Fraser's commanding officer to decide his status until the charges have been decided. A military lawyer will be appointed to represent Fraser.
The second charge of negligent performance of duty, laid under the National Defence Act, brings possible penalties of a fine up to dishonourable discharge from the Canadian Forces.
The death and the charges have again put the spotlight on weapons handling by troops in Afghanistan, which is dictated by the rules of engagement.
In the camp, the soldiers are expected to carry their weapons but with the magazines off and bullets removed from the chamber.
But "outside the wire," soldiers are primed for action, with magazines attached and a "bullet up the spout," meaning a round is in the chamber and ready to fire.
That enables a soldier to respond quickly if trouble breaks out but it also raises the potential for accidents.

"The potential of getting in and out of the vehicle with all that bloody kit on and things catching on the vehicle – it can happen," said retired major-general Lewis MacKenzie.

We Shall Remember Cpl. Megeney

Soldier remembered for his bravery and commitment
Updated Fri. Mar. 16 2007 2:42 PM ET News Staff

Family weeps outside Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, Stellarton, NS
Cpl. Kevin Megeney, killed in Afghanistan earlier this month, was remembered today as a "great soldier and a great friend" at his funeral in Stellarton, N.S.
His flag-draped casket was carried into the Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church by military pallbearers as a bell rang overhead.

Inside, about 100 family members, and hundreds of soldiers, reflected on Megeney's life during the full military funeral. Dressed in his desert fatigues, Cpl. Brent Bowden, who served with Megeney, delivered one of the eulogies in honour of his friend "Kev." ""I am proud to be his partner, proud to know Kev. Kev was my best friend," Bowden said. Bowden described Megeney as a soldier who was prepared for the dangers of Afghanistan but believed in the mission. "Every time he put on the uniform, wearing the Canadian flag on his shoulders, Kev was proud." "He believed in the mission -- that was his reason for serving -- that was his reason for going. He wanted to help," Bowden said. Through tears, Bowden said his friend should be remembered as someone who "paid the supreme sacrifice for his country." "He was a great soldier a great friend to be relied on for anything no matter what it was," said Bowden. The 25-year-old, a member of the First Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders, was killed in his tent at the Canadian base in Kandahar on March 6 by a gunshot wound to the chest. He died 20 minutes later from the wound. Military officials have confirmed that Megeney was shot in the chest but have yet to verify if he was shot by another member of his platoon. Megeney was a 'fine man' Robert Morrison, whose son and Megeney were childhood friends, described the soldier as a fine man. "Everything good - just full of life, a gentleman, 100 per cent," said Morrison. "Everyone could talk to him. He's just a nice guy." As more than 200 filed into the church, Morrison said Megeney's home town, which is on the North West coast of Nova Scotia, was stunned by the news of his death. ""It's a shock, everybody's in shock," Morrison said. "But the support has been great. The town has all come together. You can tell everywhere you go. Everyone you talk to, it's all about Kevin." Megeney's uncle George Megeney said the death of the infantryman not only affects his family, but the family of the soldier who fired the shot. He called his nephew's death, a "very, very unfortunate accident." Speaking to Canada AM on Friday, Megeney's cousin, Brian MacLeod, said the family is focusing on Kevin's accomplishments. "The funeral today will be about celebrating Kevin's life not just as a soldier but as a friend and family member," said MacLeod. He said the family was coping well. "There's been a lot of grieving but also a lot of reflection and thinking about those happy times with Kevin." MacLeod described his cousin as someone with "a great sense of humour" who was "not a leader of the pack but very influential in any group he was ever a part of." Local residents are also honouring Megeney with a yellow ribbon campaign. "We're not a large community... but if you go up the main street of Stellarton you'd see ribbons on every street post, door, window -- the community has certainly banded together and given us a lot of support." Megeney, who volunteered to go to Afghanistan in December, is the 45th Canadian soldier to be killed there since 2002. He is the eighth Nova Scotian to die during the mission. "It takes a lot to travel to a warn-torn country to do his job," Bowden said. "We all know the risks. We all know what might happen. But above all, we all know what we're there to do. Kev did his part with pride and honour." The son of Karen and Dexter Megeney, Kevin was born in New Glasgow, N.S., and joined the reserves in 1999. He had two older siblings. Since 2002, six Canadian soldiers have been killed in accidental or friendly fire incidents. With files from The Canadian Press

Dear Megeney Family, friends and commrades: We grief alongside you, praying for you through your difficult journey. May you take comfort in knowing that many Military moms, dads, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives and friends feel your sorrow and our hearts and prayers are with you as we always remember Kevin~ Canada's hero. God bless.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Available now: The Eternal Flame Broach

Roses, always a symbol of love in the military community
are represented by the firm, unyielding stem of a budding rose -
just as military wives and mothers and sisters are firm in their commitment;
in the face of adversity, and in facing all the challenges they must.

The velvety leaves of the rose, represent a softness which corresponds
with the supportive hearts military wives and mothers possess - and a willingness to always be there for each other.

The flame of the broach, represents all women in the military community
who continue to keep the home fires burning

This beautiful broach, which is fast becoming the
national symbol for military wives and mothers,
is now available.

Cost is $6.75 each (including shipping)

Please make your cheque payable to:

"The Eternal Flame"

Mail to: 16 East Street, Petawawa, ON K8H 2N8

Proceeds from the sale of these broaches will be directed to

The Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund

For information or questions, please email Dianne at :

Keep the home fires burning
While your hearts are yearning
Though our lads are far away,
They dream of home.... Ivor Novelo/Lena Ford 1914

Two More Charged in Attack on Soldier March 15-07

Two more charged in
Attack on Soldier
By JON WILLING (Ottawa Sun)
Two more men have been charged in the alleged assault of a decorated Canadian soldier at a Morrisburg bar.
Nick's Bar
The slogan? "Get your kicks at Nicks!"
Morrisburg Plaza
Morrisburg, Ontario
Master Cpl. Collin Fitzgerald, 27, was in his hometown last weekend when he decided to visit a local pub. Early Saturday, he was knocked unconscious and received cuts to his face and a broken foot. Fitzgerald received the Medal of Military Valour last month for his courageous actions in Afghanistan.
OPP had already charged Travis Baldwin, 21, of Morrisburg with aggravated assault. Police have now charged Ian D. Tait, 22, and Jeremy Stewart, 19, both of Morrisburg, with assault causing bodily harm. They will appear in court May 7.
Police are looking for more witnesses in the investigation.

Anyone with information can call 613-534-2223
An ongoing SD&G OPP investigation has resulted in further arrests and charges for a serious assault that occurred on 10 Mar 2007 in the village of Morrisburg.Two further males have been arrested:• Ian D. TAIT 22 year old of Morrisburg • Jeremy STEWART 19 year old of Morrisburg Both males have been charged with assault cause bodily harm and are to appear in Morrisburg Court on the 01 May 07.Officers appreciate the assistance received so far from the public but continue to look for further witnesses in this investigation. If anyone has information on this incident, they are asked to call SDG OPP at 613-534-2223 to speak with Cst. Evans or another member of the Crime Unit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Come Out and Support Our Troops

Paddyfest Parade in Listowel

Saturday, March 17th, Listowel is hosting a
Paddyfest Parade
and has invited families and friends of the military to join.
Join Families of Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan
in showing your support.
Come meet the group at 10:30 am
and support our troops
at the LTL yard on Reg Rd 86 (Main Street)
Wear RED of course :)
For further information, pls. contact:
Kerry @ 519-888-9398,


Obituary - Cpl. Ronald Kevin Megeney

New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
It is with extreme sadness we announce the sudden passing of our dearly beloved Cpl. Ronald Kevin Megeney while on service in Kandahar. Born in New Glasgow, he was the son of Dexter and Karen (MacLeod) Megeney. He attended G.R. Saunders Elementary School, and was in the graduating class of 2000, Stellarton High School. Kevin followed his dream and joined the Nova Scotia Highlanders at age 17, training in Pictou, Halifax, CFB Gagetown, CFB Aldershot, and CFB Wainwright. He also trained with the U.S. Marines in February of 2004. Kevin will be sadly missed by his parents, Karen and Dexter, Stellarton; sisters, Sherrie (Simon), Stellarton; Lisa (Jason), Westville; nieces: Brittany, Nadia and Christie; nephew; Bradley; soulmate, Wendy, Merigomish; paternal grandmother; Elizabeth Megeney, Stellarton. As well as many aunts, uncles and cousins, and many close friends considered family at heart. He was predeceased by paternal grandfather, George Megeney; maternal grandparents, Major Douglas and Annie MacLeod; aunts, Heather MacDonald, Nancy Sinclair; uncle and godfather, Doug MacLeod; cousin; Levi Cyr. His remains are resting at the H.W. Angus Funeral Home, New Glasgow, from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday from Our Lady Of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church with Father Francis Cameron officiating. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Donations in memory of Kevin may be made to Care Canada.
Visit Lisa's on-line website dedicated to Kevin:

A Poem Written by Cpl Megeney's cousin Anna
from British Columbia:
A Son.
A brother.
A friend.
A Soldier
….An Angel.

Another star shines down tonight
A light so bright from Heaven,
The Good Lord called an Angel home,
It was our beloved Kevin.

The pain we feel is endless
Our tears may never dry.
A young man so full of promise,
Why did he have to die.

He had so much to live for,
He stood so tall and proud.
That special kind of gentleman
Who stood far above the crowd.

And now he stands in Heaven
With the Lord so high above,
Smiling, watching over us
With a heart so full of love.

So we must stand here proudly
And wipe our tears away.
And remember every little thing
Until we meet him again one day.

He will wait for us in Heaven,
Watching from above.
When our turn comes he’ll be there
With open arms of love.

God Bless you Kevin.
.. Anna

Decorated Soldier Injured...In Canada?

Do we need to educate some of our youth? A majority of our young adults understand, support and respect our troops, but what about the rest? After reading the story below, I felt a familiar upset. This is not the first time I have heard of taunting, name calling or assaults on a soldier returning from Afghanistan. After the rigorous training, hard work, putting their lives at risk, leaving their life behind.. and then to return to this type of hero's welcome is unforgivable. What do you think?

Note: The attackers in Morrisburg are the same age as
many of the soldiers serving and returning soldiers of Afghanistan

Assault Leaves Soldier with Broken Foot, Nose
Andrew Seymour
The Ottawa Citizen
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Master Cpl. Collin Fitzgerald,
a 27-year-old weapons instructor at CFB Trenton,
was recognized by Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, right,
with the Canadian Medal of Military Valour
on Feb. 19 after braving enemy fire in Afghanistan.
Photo By: Master Cpl. Issa ParE,
Photographer to the Governor General

MORRISBURG - A Canadian soldier honoured for braving enemy fire in Afghanistan returned to the town where he grew up and found himself facing homegrown foes -- four men who beat him up in a Morrisburg bar and then taunted him about his hero status.
Master Cpl. Collin Fitzgerald, who was awarded a Medal of Military Valour for his heroic actions by Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean on Feb. 19, said witnesses told him one of his attackers said "what kind of f--king hero are you now" as he was being pulled off him.
Master Cpl. Fitzgerald had his foot broken in three places and needed 10 stitches to close a cut above his right eye. The 27-year-old soldier also suffered a broken nose, chipped tooth and black eye in the attack, which occurred just before 2 a.m. Saturday at Nick's Sports Bar.
He had only been in the bar about 30 minutes when he was struck from behind, he said yesterday from his home in Trenton.

"I don't even remember getting hit," he said. "I went and sat down at one of the tables, and next thing I knew I woke up and had a hole in my head and I couldn't walk on my foot," said Master Cpl. Fitzgerald, who is well-known in the small town of about 3,000 people. "I was just covered in blood. I didn't know what happened to me."
Prior to the assault, Master Cpl. Fitzgerald said he had been at the bar, shaking hands and accepting congratulations from old friends while visiting with Shawn Hitsman, the brother of his fiancee, Stacey.
After regaining consciousness, Master Cpl. Fitzgerald said Mr. Hitsman and another friend, Bobby Paradis, helped him up and drove him to a hospital.
OPP Const. Paul Murphy said yesterday a 21-year-old Morrisburg male has been charged with aggravated assault. He has since been released from custody on a promise to appear in court. Since he has yet to appear in court, his name was not released.
Const. Murphy said more charges are expected to be laid against the 21-year-old. Police also expect to lay charges against several other suspects, he said.
After serving eight months in Afghanistan, Master Cpl. Fitzgerald said "not in a million years" did he expect to be jumped in a Morrisburg bar. He also never expected to be shown such disrespect for his military service.
"Ignorance is bliss. They obviously have no idea or any clue what the hell is going on over there," said Master Cpl. Fitzgerald, who has also served two tours in Bosnia. "We weren't just sitting in a camp. We're getting shot at. People are dying. Buddies of mine I've seen get blown up. They really don't have any clue and they don't know how lucky they have it here in Canada," he said.
Master Cpl. Fitzgerald's mother, Arlene Fitzgerald, said the attack has left her outraged.
"He came home in one piece from Afghanistan, and he gets beaten up like this in his own home town," she said. "He wants to be in a fight like he wants a hole in the head. He just came back from hell," she said.
Master Cpl. Fitzgerald's father Bryan said he hopes the people responsible for the attack are punished.
"They have no respect for the military ... they have no respect for anybody," said Mr. Fitzgerald. "They are ignorant, they are cowards."
Master Cpl. Fitzgerald, who is a weapons instructor at CFB Trenton, was among the first recipients of the Canadian Medal of Military Valour.
According to the Canadian Forces, Master Cpl. Fitzgerald was recognized "for outstanding selfless and valiant actions" carried out on May 24, 2006, during an ambush "involving intense, accurate enemy fire."
Master Cpl. Fitzgerald "repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire by entering and re-entering a burning platoon vehicle and successfully driving it off the roadway, permitting the remaining vehicles trapped in the enemy zone to break free."
According to the military, Master Cpl. Fitzgerald's "courageous and completely selfless actions were instrumental to his platoon's successful egress and undoubtedly contributed to saving the lives of his fellow platoon members."
Master Cpl. Fitzgerald, who said he has since learned the identity of the people accused of attacking him, said he had never met them before.
"The last thing I was doing in there was trying to provoke a fight with somebody. I'm not the type of guy to play pokey-chest with somebody and then sit down and turn my back to him," he said.
"It's in the hands of the police now, but there is nothing more than I would like to do is grab this guy and put him in the hospital for a couple of months," said Master Cpl. Fitzgerald. "I think I have a right to be pissed off about it."

Travis K. Baldwin (charged with aggravated assault)

OPP Reports -March 2007:

March 13-07

SD&G OPP have laid one count of aggravated assault against Travis BALDWIN of Morrisburg Ontario in relation to an assault. On 10 Mar 07 SD&G OPP responded to a serious assault in the Village of Morrisburg. The SD& G OPP is looking for the assistance from the public in this ongoing investigation. Constable M. Evans is investigating.(Original release…12Mar07, 1534hrs)CHARGES LAID (South Dundas)

March 10-07

– On the 10 Mar 07 at approximately 02:00 am SD&G OPP officers responded to a report of an injured male on Main Street in the village of Morrisburg in South Dundas Township. The investigation has resulted in a 21-year-old male being arrested and charged for aggravated assault . The police are pleased with the public support in this investigation and are still seeking any other witnesses to come forward in this matter.The male is scheduled to appear in Morrisburg Court on the 01 May 07.Constable M. Evans is investigating.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Remembering Our Fallen

Remembering Our Fallen
by: Cpl Jason Lamont

We all stand at attention,
left arms stiff at our sides.
Bodies straight, tall and proud,
right arm saluting in pride.

Our fallen comrades are hoisted up,
to shoulder height they lay.
Carried by eight of their brothers in arms,
then the Bag Pipes start to play.

The music moves our souls,
with the spirits of the lost.
All four are slow-marched in succession,
following two men with a cross.

We struggle to fight the tears,
the hurt inside starts to swell.
Our throats get all choked up,
I feel the need to yell.

Why was it you and not me?
the guilt I feel is so intense.
But that question can never be answered,
death will never make sense.

Tears now fill our eyes,
as the silver coffins are marched past.
The Canadian flag drapes across them,
flags that will forever be at half-mast.

We think about the battle,
we think about their lives.
We think of all the memories,
we pray for their families and wives.

These soldiers fought for their country,
and paid the ultimate cost.
They are brave and truly courageous,
and their memory will never be lost.

We know they’ve met St. Peter,
and are beyond heaven’s pearly gates.
They’re at peace now from this hellish war,
and away from all this hate.

Our arms snap to attention,
and we taste our salty tears.
We hurt so much for the loss of you,
we wish that you were still here.

We bow our heads in one last prayer,
touch your caskets and say goodbye.
We will miss you all so dearly,
but will smile when we look up at the sky.

We’ll think of you often,
and how you’ve touched us all.
We’ll go and celebrate the lives you led,
we’ll stay up until last call.

We’ll hold our glasses high,
and we’ll cheers to your life and name.
And we’ll slam that shot down and smile,
beause we know you’re doing the same.
Written By: Corporal Jason Lamont
Health Service and Support Company (HSS Coy)
Task Force ORION
August 5, 2006
"Thank you Cpl Jason Lamont.
You have given us the perspective from a soldier's side
- one many families and friends have not experienced. "