Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight News Highlights – December 5, 2012

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  • Joshua Baker, 1985-2010, R.I.P.  “Calgary Maj. Darryl Watts has been found not guilty of manslaughter in the death of another Canadian soldier in February 2010A military jury at a court martial in Calgary also acquitted Watts, 44, of two counts of breach of duty.  But the five jurors convicted him of unlawfully causing bodily harm and negligent performance of military duty.  Watts was the commanding officer the day 24-year-old Cpl. Josh Baker died after a claymore explosive packed with 700 steel balls hit a Canadian Forces platoon at a training range north of Kandahar city. Four other soldiers were wounded ….” – more here (from the DND Info-machine), here, here and here.
  • Cpl. Christopher Klodt has another son, thanks to the Military Family Fund.  Cameron, now two years old, is one reason the Canadian soldier and Afghanistan veteran came to Ottawa on Tuesday. Klodt spoke at the launch of this year’s Operation Wish campaign at the Sears outlet at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre.  Operation Wish works with military officials to support Canadian military personnel and their families. Commodore Marc Watson, director-general of Canadian Forces Personnel and Family Support Services, said thousands of people have been helped by the fund.  Klodt is one of them. He’s a quadriplegic, with no feeling below his chest and limited use of his arms. He was serving in Afghanistan in 2009 with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry when he was shot in the neck in a firefight with the Taliban. It shattered his spine, paralyzing him.  The Military Family Fund helped with fertility treatments in 2009 after Klodt and his wife, Deena, wanted a second child.  “They also helped me modify a vehicle for driving, in the short term,” Klodt said.  The military does cover needs like transportation, Klodt said, but the process is slow. The Military Family Fund is able to step in earlier to help veterans.  Klodt now works as a clerk in an army unit in London, Ont., that provides support for reserve units stationed in the surrounding areas.  Tuesday’s event was one of 15 held across the country. Sears donated $10,000 to the fund and showed off red, “support our troops” Christmas ornaments it is selling for the first time to help the cause. It hopes to raise more than $50,000 for the family fund, said Natalie Larocque-Cross, vice president of Sears’s east region ….” – more on Sears’ Operation Wish here, and what the Minister of Defence has to say about the project here.
  • Canada’s war poet Suzanne Steele, interviewed about her experiences at the Banff Centre
  • HMCS Toronto in Halifax for some work
  • Some new capabilities in Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART)  “In February 2010, the Canadian Forces deployed firefighters and search and rescue technicians, including a cave rescue specialist, to carry out urban search and rescue work in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there. It was the first time Canada had deployed such a team.  Since then, a Light Urban Search and Rescue (LUSAR) component of the Disaster Assistance Response Team has been introduced. The progress of this important new capability has been spearheaded by 19 Wing Comox, B.C.  The team officially stood up two years ago and in September, the team’s final draft mandate was announced and the team was ready to begin exercises ….”
  • Oopsie…. No one was injured when a military training vessel ran aground near Powell River, B.C., on Monday.  Nine people aboard Black Duck had to be rescued after the vessel ran up on some rocks on Vivian Island just before noon.  “There were no injuries and the vessel was aground and beginning to tilt a little bit as the tide was lowering, so we had the Coast Guard lifeboat out of Powell River and also the Cormorant helicopter out of 19 Wing Comox respond,” said Capt. Pat McSorley is with the Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria ….”

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5 December 12 at 7:45

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