Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day 11-11-11

This post is dedicated to our fallen soldiers and their wives, Mothers, Fathers and family. Today at 11 am, I will bow my head in silence with thoughts of you and all soldiers who have served. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I remember today... and I remember always.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Don Cherry Respectfully Declines Honorary Degree from the Royal Military College of Canada

The Senate of the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) today announced that Mr. Don Cherry, a renowned hockey commentator and strong supporter of Canada's military personnel and families, will not be accepting an Honorary Degree, as planned for the 2011 Fall Convocation."We received with regret, but with complete understanding, Mr. Don Cherry's personal decision not to participate in the forthcoming Convocation at the Royal Military College of Canada," said Dr. Joel Sokolsky, Principal of RMCC. "It would have been our honour and privilege for Mr. Cherry to have received an Honorary Degree from the university, in recognition of his outstanding support for our Canadian Forces personnel and for his incredible charitable work." One of the aims of granting Honorary Degrees at the Royal Military College of Canada is to recognize people who are making a difference. For more than two decades, Don Cherry has been a stalwart public supporter of the members of the Canadian Forces and their families. In Canada and overseas, he has visited Canadian Forces personnel to boost their morale through both his entertaining personality and his heartfelt appreciation for their sacrifice. Mr. Cherry is also known for his charitable causes, including organ donor awareness and Rose Cherry's Home for Kids, which is a pediatric and hospice care facility for children now called the Darling Home for Kids. The decision to bestow an Honorary Degree rests with the RMCC Senate, an independent body whose function is to grant degrees and honorary degrees. It is comprised of the Chancellor; the Commandant; the Principal; the Vice Principal; the Deans of the Academic Faculties; the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research; the Dean of Continuing Studies; the Academic Director of the Royal Military College, Saint-Jean; the Representative of the Faculty Board; the Director of Cadets; and the Registrar.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Air Force and Navy Returns Home

Maj. Yves LeBlanc, a CP-140 Aurora pilot, holds his two-year-old son Jeremy after returning from Operation Mobile, Canada's military contribution to the crisis in Libya, in Greenwood, N.S. on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011.

Canadian Forces members are returning to Canada after a successful operation in the skies over Libya and the Central Mediterranean. Canada took a leading role in the UN-mandated, NATO-led Operation to protect the people of Libya from the former Gaddafi regime while also imposing an arms embargo and a no-fly zone."Canada once again punched above its weight as part of an international coalition. The men and women of the Canadian Forces confirmed their leadership position at NATO and the role they can play in successful international operations," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. (Photo Credit: Cpl Marc-André Gaudreault)
"I am extremely proud of the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy whose contribution was, without a doubt, instrumental in the protection of civilians from the violence of the Gaddafi regime."Canada responded rapidly and strongly after the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 of March 17, 2011. In less than 24 hours, CF-18s were airborne from 3 Wing Bagotville enroute to their operating base in Trapani, Italy, along with strategic air-to-air refuelling support from 8 Wing Trenton's Polaris aircraft. 8 Wing's CC-177 Globemasters followed immediately with all personnel and equipment needed to quickly establish an effective operational capability."Throughout this deployment, our airmen and airwomen demonstrated their outstanding skills and agility in successfully conducting air-to-air integrated operations with our NATO Allies, flying side-by-side conducting surveillance and bombing missions, providing air refueling to coalition aircraft, and patrolling the shore of Libya," said Lieutenant-General Andre Deschamps, the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force. "Their professionalism and dedication played a significant role in the protection of innocent civilians against an oppressive regime, and it is with pleasure that we welcome them home after a job well-done."The deployment of Canadian assets to the region, including a frigate, CF-188 Hornet fighters, CC-150 Polaris in-flight refuelling tankers, CC-130 Hercules tankers, and CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft - gave Canada and the Canadian Forces the flexibility and capability to respond to the ongoing crisis in the region by providing critical aviation support to coalition efforts.The CF-18 aircraft conducted 946 sorties, making up ten percent of NATO strike sorties. Over the course of their sorties, Canada's fighters dropped 696 bombs of various types.The two CC-150T and one CC-130T aircraft deployed flew 389 air-to-air refueling sorties. They dispensed a total of 18,535,572 lbs of fuel to aircraft from six nations involved in Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR - France, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Qatar.The two CP-140 aircraft deployed on Operation MOBILE flew 181 sorties off the coast of Libya and over land. They conducted Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sorties, as well as strike coordination and armed reconnaissance-coordinator sorties that provided critical information and helped the NATO effort to protect civilians.
*As directed by the Government of Canada, Operation MOBILE (Canada's military response to the crisis in Libya) has ceased operations and commenced mission closure activities as of 1 November, 2011.*

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bless Corporal Byron Greff - October 29, 2011

MCpl. Byron Greff
It is with sadness, we announce that a Canadian Forces member was killed by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device while transiting through Kabul as a passenger on an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) vehicle. The incident took place at approximately 11:30 a.m. (Kandahar time) on October 29, 2011. The incident has resulted in casualties to ISAF personnel. Killed on operation was Master Corporal Byron Greff from the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton, Alberta. He was serving as a mentor and trainer on Operation Attention, the Canadian Forces contribution to the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. His role was to advise Afghan National Army trainers who provide recruit training to Afghan soldiers. The Canadian Contribution to the Training Mission-Afghanistan (CCTM-A) includes more than 900 Canadian Forces men and women who, with some 4500 other partners from 33 other nations in NTM-A, are enabling the growth, professionalization, and capacity building of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police. At this sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our fallen Canadian comrade. Our primary focus at this time is to provide the best possible support to Master Corporal Greff's family and his colleagues.Master Corporal Greff, his teammates, and the contingent of more than 900 Canadians serving with him in and around Kabul are there to provide training, leader development and capacity building. By the end of 2014, this training to the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police will provide security for Afghans who will ultimately take on this responsibility on their own. Master Corporal Greff is a great Canadian soldier who was serving selflessly toward this mission. His teammates, CCTM-A, and the Canadian Forces remain committed to this mission to achieve peace, stability and security by Afghans for Afghans.


The C-17 Globemaster touched down on the tarmac at CFB Trenton around 5 p.m.Cpl. Byron Greff, 26, was killed Saturday in a suicide bomb attack on a NATO bus convoy transporting people to their peacekeeping jobs around Kabul.Moments after the aircraft stopped, military pallbearers carried the flag-draped casket to a waiting hearse.Grieving family members led by Greff’s wife, Lindsay Raphael, and their two children — Kellar and Bielle — slowly made their way to the hearse. Raphael could be seen wiping tears from her eyes as the family placed roses on the casket.Dignitaries at the ceremony included Governor General David Johnston, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Walt Natynczyk looked on.Dozens of people stood in silence outside the perimeter fence on a stretch of Highway 2 known as Repatriation Row.It’s an all too familiar sight at the base.Trenton resident Mike Rightmeyer brought his four young children to watch the ceremony.“We’ve never been to a repatriation before. I thought it was important for them to watch this,” said Rightmetyer. “We came here out of respect. It’s been a gut wrenching, emotional experience for us.”The motorcade that included the hearse and limousines carrying family members drove slowly through the crowd that lined both sides of the road.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11th, 2011 - We Will Always Remember

We honour the men, women and children who lost their lives; those who gave their lives and the Heroes who responded on September 11th. 2001. We pray for their families who have suffered an unimaginable loss.
We pause to remember the fateful day, we remember a day that ultimately changed our world forever. We came together for healing and mourning. Then together we united to exact justice and ensure another attack like this never happened again.
We honour our men and women in uniform who are dedicated to protect us and to keep us safe. We will always remember.
Memorial Reflecting Pools

This Sept. 11, the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial in New York will evoke many emotions: reverence for loved ones lost, gratitude for brave first responders, love of country, perhaps some uplift and peace.
"As you walk up to the body of water, there is a moment of sad comprehension.... You understand the scale and magnitude of what happened here." – Michael Arad, architect
In a solemn ceremony, the families of the victims – as well as Presidents Obama and George W. Bush – will look out on two massive waterfalls that pour into pools formed in the footprints of the former towers of the World Trade Center. The water disappears into dramatic black voids. All around the pools are the names of the victims, incised into bronze sheeting.
Instrumental in bringing about the memorial are three Americans who were strangers on 9/11 but ultimately became linked by the terrible events of the day.
These three men (Joe Daniels, Peter Walker and Michael Arad) turned their initial shock into a memorial, transforming the gaping wound in the ground, a reminder of 2,977 lives lost, into a place of serenity, reflection, and grace.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Red Friday Rally in Petawawa!

Red Friday Rally 2011

(Red) Friday, May 6 · 11:00am - 2:00pm

EVENT BEGINS: 11:00 a.m.
MAIN PROGRAM (stage): 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Location: Petawawa Legion Parking lot
3583 Petawawa Blvd
Petawawa, ON
Hosted by: The Red Friday Ladies
On May 6th 2011 Karen and Lisa will host another rally @ the Petawawa Legion to celebrate FIVE YEARS of supporting our troops & wearing red!!

Once again they are proud to be hosting the finish line for
the Commissionaires Ottawa RUN FOR MILITARY FAMILIES
Come out, wear your red and celebrate our troops and their families !!

Help cheer on our troops ...
and the “RUN FOR MILITARY FAMILIES” runners too!
Come out and meet the people of Petawawa, the troops, their families and so many more.

Witness the pride and support of our military community.
Show Canada your support and pride.


For more information, contact: or

**** The Red Friday Ladies encourage you to bring your folding chairs ... pack a lunch and snacks ... there will be lots to see and do so come out early ****

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Remembering Soldiers and the Dogs- Heroes Together

Being a dog owner myself, the news of this fallen soldier and his dog wants me to ask you to remember the handlers of the dogs as well as the dogs who together put their lives at risk everyday. When sending a care package, include a treat for a sniffing dog in memory of Theo and Britain's soldier Cpl Liam Tasker. They will always be remembered and our prayers are with Cpl Tasker's family as they travel a difficult journey ahead filled sorrow. Always in our hearts. ~Military Mom

Corporal Tasker Killed By Sniper and His Bomb Sniffing Dog Collapsed and Died
Soldier and His Dog Are Greeted by British Mourners and Their Dogs

British mourners traditionally give a respectful silent salute to slain soldiers, but today they were joined by dog owners who brought their dogs to the grim arrival of Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and his bomb sniffing dog Theo.

Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, 26, died in a firefight on March 1 in Helmand province with Theo by his side. The dog, a springer spaniel, suffered a seizure from the stress and died hours later after being returned to base, according to the British Ministry of Defense.
Tasker's body and the ashes of Theo were returned today on the same military plane to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, England.

RAF dog handlers and their dogs pay respect as they line the repatriation route.

Residents of Wootton Bassett, near Lyneham, lined the streets when Tasker's coffin, draped with the British Union Jack, passed through the town on its way to Oxford, where soldiers' bodies are examined by a coroner before being returned to families.

Villagers traditionally greet the casket with a solemn moment of silence. It's a ritual of respect that began more than two years ago, explained a local government employee.

"It just happened," she said, beginning initially with veterans who would gather around the town's war memorial when a coffin passed. "They raised their caps…that's how it all started," she said.
But when the bells of St. Bartholomew's Church tolled today, the mourners included devastated dog handlers and their animals, she said.

Tasker and Theo had worked together uncovering roadside bombs in Afghanistan and were remarkably successful, finding 14 bombs meant to kill and maim British soldiers.

They had more operational finds than any other individual team in Afghanistan to date, the Ministry of Defense said. They were featured in a video released by the Army before Tasker's death, showing a perky Theo on patrol with his handler.

The two were so good at what they were doing that their tour of duty had been extended by a month.

Theo, 22 months old and on his first tour of duty, was with Tasker when he was felled by a sniper's bullet during a firefight and died.

"I truly believe when Theo went back to the kennel, that that would have a big, big impact because Liam wasn't there to comfort him," Tasker's father, Ian Tasker, told ITV news. Tasker's mother, Jane Duffy, said: "I would like to believe he died of a broken heart to be with Liam."

Theo's ashes were due to be presented to the Tasker family today in a private ceremony.

He served in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and had been deployed last September after having trained as an arms and explosives search-dog handler. He was a mechanic when he first joined the Army, according to a Ministry of Defense statement, but his passion for dogs led to his transfer to the Veterinary Corps in 2007.

Lance Corporal Natasha Mooney from the Veterinary Corps called Tasker "a larger than life character" and said, "Theo truly was man's best friend and they rest in peace together."

Pamela Reid, vice-president of the ASPCA's Animal Behavior Center, said Tasker and Theo had clearly developed a powerful bond.

"The stress in being separated from the handler could be a very serious component in what happened," she said. "It speaks to the intense relationship we can have with animals."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

General Hillier's Leadership

Reading one of General Hillier's books in land far away? Take a picture of you and the book in front of a land mark and share it with the community! How many countries can we get? Post your pictures on General Hillier's FB site

by Rick Hillier .
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd October 15, 2010 Hardcover
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10:1554684935
ISBN - 13:9781554684939

General Rick Hillier's views on leadership evolved over histhree decades as a soldier, first by watching many of hissuperiors make bad decisions, then by learning from the schoolof hard knocks as the head of emergency rescue operations inCanada and …+ read more
General Rick Hillier's views on leadership evolved over histhree decades as a soldier, first by watching many of hissuperiors make bad decisions, then by learning from the schoolof hard knocks as the head of emergency rescue operations inCanada and international task forces in eastern Europe andAfghanistan. Never one to be shy with his opinions, Hillier isas frank and straightforward in Leadership Matters as he is inhis #1 bestselling memoir, A Soldier First.

For Hillier, leadership is all about people -- embracing those in your charge and winning over those you need to work with -- not about risk aversion or management fads. Leaders think long, and have a vision. Their actions speak, not their words, and they make their own luck. But leaders also act out of moral courage, accept failure, take advantage of crisis and are perpetually optimistic.

General Rick Hillier's views on leadership evolved over his three decades as a soldier, first by watching many of his superiors make bad decisions, then by learning from the school of hard knocks as the head of emergency rescue operations in Canada and international task forces in eastern Europe and Afghanistan. Never one to be shy with his opinions, Hillier is as frank and straightforward in Leadership as he is in his #1 bestselling memoir, A Soldier First.

Leadership is an inspirational, easy-to-read and, in true Hillier fashion, always entertaining collection of principles that will challenge the way you run your business, start a project or take that next step in life.