MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 5 Nov 11
- Remember the Memorial Ribbon announcement yesterday? It appears to be gone now (except for a few media outlets that ran with it early here and here, at Army.ca for discussion, and here (PDF) for posterity). Hmmmm…..
- Remembrance Day “So far this year we’ve been spared the almost annual clash between the custodians of the red Remembrance Day poppy and anti-war activists who promote the white poppy of peace ….”
- Veterans getting a lot of mention in the House of Commons these days - more from Hansard here, here, here and here.
- The Applebees restaurant chain is offering a free meal on November 11th to veterans – I especially love Army.ca owner Mike Bobbitt’s idea of donating what the meal would have cost to the Soldier On fund.
- Poochies helping those with hidden wounds. “Dave Desjardins says he’s convinced a Rottweiler named Maggie helped save his life. The 41-year-old retired soldier was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder in 2005, a few months after he returned from Afghanistan. When he first met the dog last year, he was addicted to morphine and afraid to leave his home for anything more than a quick cigarette in the backyard ….”
- Toronto Star articles on dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and how DRDC labs are helping.
- Libya Mission Softball question in the House of Commons on when the troops are coming home from the Libyan theatre o’ operations: “Mr. Speaker, earlier this year Canada responded rapidly and strongly after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to protect civilians who were being attacked by the Gadhafi regime in Libya. In less than 24 hours CF-18s were airborne from 3 Wing Bagotville en route to their operating base in Trapani, Italy, along with strategic air-to-air refueling support from 8 Wing Trenton’s Polaris aircraft. Canada also sent a frigate to patrol the central Mediterranean. Could the associate minister of national defence please inform the House when our heroes are coming home?” I guess the Conservative member for Chatham-Kent—Essex missed the news release here, not to mention all the media advisories here, here and here.
- While troops return from Libya, veterans will be pressing for better benefits. “There will plenty of celebration Friday and Saturday as cabinet ministers travel to air-force bases around the country to welcome home Canadian Forces personnel from a mission in Libya that saw rebels overthrow long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The 630 members of Canada’s military are returning home from Operation Mobile and NATO-led Operation Unified Protector, which saw them enforce an arms embargo and a no-fly zone around the North African nation for most of this year. Julian Fantino, the Associate Minister of National Defence, has been dispatched to Bagotville, Que., to greet troops Friday afternoon. Chris Alexander, the parliamentary secretary to the Defence Minister, will be waiting for them on Friday night in Trenton, Ont. And Defence Minister MacKay will be at 14 Wing Greenwood in Nova Scotia on Saturday, an event that was delayed by weather. At exactly the same time that Mr. MacKay is shaking hands with the folks getting off the plane from Libya, veterans from Afghanistan and other conflicts will be on Parliament Hill protesting what they say are unfair benefits for people who have put their lives on the line for their country. It is the second Veterans National Day organized by Canadian Veterans Advocacy against the New Veterans Charter, which the group says discriminates against military personnel who were injured after April, 2006 – a time when Canada suffered most of the casualties in Afghanistan ….”
- Afghanistan (1) CBC columnist reminds us Canada’s still at war in Afghanistan, training mission or not. “…. the reality is that while Canada’s military pulled out of a costly, direct combat role this summer, it is now plunging even deeper into the real heart of the war ….”
- Afghanistan (2) Kandahar handover more than just handing over the keys (via the CF Info-Machine).
- Afghanistan (3) “The Government of Canada is one of the most generous donors to the World Food Programme globally and also in Afghanistan ….” (via the World Food Programme Info-Machine)
- Taliban Propaganda Watch Mullah Omar: Guys, guys, guys – you want to get at least a bit of a grip on the civilian casualties? (links to non-terrorist web page)
- Kevin Megeney, 1982-2007, R.I.P. “Final submissions heard at ex-reservist’s court martial” (via The Canadian Press on CTV.ca)
- Stuart Langridge, R.I.P. “Shaun Fynes bristles as he recalls the Canadian military’s treatment of his son, Cpl. Stuart Langridge. “They threw Stuart away like a piece of broken equipment,” he says in War in the Mind, Saltspring Island-based filmmaker Judy Jackson’s moving, revelatory film about combat trauma. It airs Nov. 8 (9 p.m. and midnight) on Knowledge Network. “We have to do everything we can to resurrect his reputation,” says Fynes, whose son, a young veteran of Bosnia and Afghanistan, hanged himself at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton in 2008 at age 28, the victim of post-traumatic stress disorder. Langridge’s parents have taken issue with their son’s treatment at the hands of the military ….”
- Let’s not forget we have troops in the Middle East, too. “On the Golan Heights since July, Canadian army Capt. John Hooyer saw something new Thursday. It rained. He had been told by officers there before him that the rocky high ground between Israel and Syria does grow green. The area is fertile, home to vineyards and orchards. It is also the source of the headwaters of the Jordan River. But almost halfway into a year-long deployment with the United Nation’s observation force, Hooyer said he has watched the ground get drier and drier. Hooyer is one of seven Canadian soldiers assigned to Operation Jade, Canada’s contribution to the UN’s oldest peacekeeping mission. Hooyer is stationed around six observation posts on the Israeli side of the border with Syria. “It’s surprising how many people are not aware the UN is operating observation posts up here,” Hooyer said in a telephone interview ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) Yet ANOTHER question in the House of Commons.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Mark Collins on numbers and locations (some that may be no more?)
- Mark Collins again, this time on how long some of the Big Honkin’ Ships’ll take to build - more on that here.
- Speaking of Big Honkin’ Ships, ooopsie…. “A Canadian navy ship that had just undergone a yearlong, $44.7-million facelift struck a dock in Halifax on Friday afternoon, causing damage to both. HMCS Preserver, one of the navy’s supply ships, had just returned from several days of tests at sea and was in the process of turning around when it struck the Halifax Shipyards dock, said Royal Canadian Navy spokesman Maj. Paul Doucette. No one was injured, but Preserver’s upper starboard side was damaged, as was the dock ….” More at CBC.ca here, and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald here.
- House of Commons debate on proposed changes to the CF’s legal system via Hansard here and here.
- Don Cherry declines honourary degree from RMC with thanks (you can still vote here on a CBC.ca poll, though). “Concerned controversy may take away from “a special day,” Don Cherry has declined an honorary degree from the Royal Military College. “I can’t accept the degree and I won’t attend the convocation,” Cherry said in an interview Friday about the Nov. 17 ceremony in Kingston. “I am sad because I was really looking forward to spending time with the 800 cadets.” Perhaps instead they can line up to get their picture taken with French Professor Catherine Lord. It is because of her bizarre and vitriolic complaints that the legendary hockey coach and commentator wont be there. “On many occasions he publicly expressed his contempt for many groups of the Canadian population, notably for the French-speaking Canadians, for the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) community and for the immigrants,” Lord wrote in an open letter. “What message will RMC send, in celebrating Don Cherry, to the students coming from these groups? And what will the Canadian people remember from RMC, as a serious and prestigious institution?” The message would be: “Thanks, Don, for all you have done.” ….”
- Big spending by the U.K. to train its troops in Western Canada. “The Army spends an average of almost £45 million a year (CDN$ 74 million) training British soldiers on a Canadian prairie, the Government said today. Seven thousand troops are sent to British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), on a prairie in Alberta, each year ahead of deployment to war zones, including Afghanistan. They are able to fire live weapons more freely than in the UK because of the vast size of the prairie in Alberta. But figures revealed by the Ministry of Defence show spending on BATUS totalled £224.5 million over the past five years, peaking at £58 million in 2009/10. It works out at an average of £44.9 million annually since 2006 ….” (Article also downloadable as PDF here if link doesn’t work)
Written by milnewsca
5 November 11 at 9:00
Tagged with 14 Wing Greenwood, 3 Wing Bagotville, 8 Wing Trenton, Afghanistan, Applebee’s, Army.ca, BATUS, British Army Training Unit Suffield, Canadian Veterans Advocacy, Catherine Lord, Chris Alexander, Dave Desjardins, Defence Research and Development Canada, Don Cherry, DRDC, F-35, Golan Heights, HMCS Preserver, John Hooyer, Joint Strike Fighter, Judy Jackson, Julian Fantino, Kandahar, Kevin Megeney, Libya, Libyan unrest, Memorial Ribbon, Mike Bobbitt, military news, milnews.ca, Mullah Omar, New Veterans Charter, Odyssey Dawn, Operation Jade, Operation Mobile, poppy, Remembrance Day, Royal Military College, Shaun Fynes, Soldier On, Stuart Langridge, Taliban propaganda, Task Force Libeccio, TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, Unified Protector, UNTSO, Veterans National Day, War in the Mind, WFP, white poppy, World Food Programme