Friday, March 26, 2010

Earth Hour Saturday, March 27th

Celebrate Earth Hour

Wherever you are in the world, don't forget to turn out your lights at 8:30 pm for one hour on Saturday, March 27th

It's our earth. See it in a whole new light. Let's light a candle for a soldier.

To make your own virtual lantern click here.


Monday, March 22, 2010

God Bless Cpl Darren James Fitzpatrick - March 20th, 2010

It is with sadness that today we learn about the death of Cpl. Darren James Fitzpatrick at the University of Alberta Hospital Saturday as a result of wounds he sustained in Afghanistan on March 6.
God Bless Cpl. Darren James Fitzpatrick
Cpl. Fitzpatrick, of Prince George, B.C., was a 21-year-old Infantryman and a member of the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, based at CFB Edmonton.

This was Cpl. Fitzpatrick's first operational tour. He joined the Canadian Forces in 2006 and had been serving in Afghanistan with Operational Mentor Liaison Team the since last October.

Cpl. Fitzpatrick was critically wounded by an improvised explosive device during a joint Canadian/Afghan dismounted patrol 25 km West of Kandahar City in Zharey district on March 6. He was treated at the Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield and was then moved to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Cpl. Fitzpatrick was evacuated from LRMC to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton on Friday.
Cpl. Darren James Fitzpatrick passed away late Saturday afternoon surrounded by his family. May strength come to his family and friends as they travel a difficult journey ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Align LeftCondolences
If you'd like to leave a message of condolence, please post it in the comments section and I will transfer it below. Regards, M.M.
"I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Corporal Darren James Fitzpatrick, a courageous Canadian soldier who died Saturday after being wounded in Afghanistan during a patrol March 6. Our thoughts are very much with you during this difficult time.

Cpl. Fitzpatrick was engaged in an international effort to help Afghanistan stand on its own and rebuild after decades of war.

Although the United Nations-mandated, NATO-led mission is difficult, measurable progress has been made in Afghanistan. Whether improving the security situation in order to set the conditions for reconstruction and development, or providing humanitarian assistance, the Canadian Forces are making a considerable difference.

Cpl. Fitzpatrick gave his life while providing hope to Afghans for a brighter future. We will continue to work with our Afghan and international partners to ensure his sacrifice will not be forgotten. " ~ Peter MacKay - Minister of National Defence
It was with great sadness that my husband Jean-Daniel Lafond and I learned that the war in Afghanistan had claimed a new victim from among the ranks of our valorous and courageous soldiers.

Corporal Darren James Fitzpatrick was on patrol west of Kandahar when he was wounded by an anti-personnel mine on March 6. Unfortunately he succumbed Saturday to his injuries, surrounded by his loved ones in Edmonton.

Canada and its extended military family have lost a remarkable and very generous man.

Corporal Darren James Fitzpatrick cared very deeply about serving his country. On mission in Afghanistan, he was convinced of the crucial importance of humanitarian assistance for the communities of Kandahar province, where poverty, insecurity and terrorism are daily realities.

From the bottom of our hearts and on behalf of all Canadians, we extend our most sincere condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Corporal Fitzpatrick, in particular those serving in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. We share their pain, and our thoughts are with them. ~Michaëlle Jean

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Deployment Support Centre

Deployment is something that affects all members of the family. Stress can often present itself before, during, and after a deployment. Deployment makes physical and emotional demands on the service member, spouse, children, family and friends. Deployment affects everyone involved.
Remember: you are not alone. When my son was away, I found comfort in speaking with personnel from the DSC when I didn't know where to turn. On a personal note, I want to thank them so much for helping me during a time of need. They will assist you if you're worried, feeling sad, or have a question.
The mission of the Deployment Support Centre is to provide the best possible support to all families who are experiencing the absence of a loved one due to a deployment, course or tasking.
Their staff will assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Toll-Free Number: 1-877-218-9993 (Canada)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Changes to Recognition for Overseas Service

Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced March 17, 2010 changes to the South-West Asia Service Medal (SWASM), the General Campaign Star (GCS) and the General Service Medal (GSM). These changes were introduced following a major review of all recognition provided for overseas service in order to simplify and standardize overseas recognition for Canadian Forces (CF) personnel. The creation of a formal device to recognize those who serve multiple rotations in missions eligible for the SWASM, the GCS and the GSM was key in this review.
“We are grateful to all of our Canadian Forces personnel for their bravery and dedication,” said Minister MacKay. “The changes announced today allow the Government of Canada to acknowledge the individual experience of men and women who deploy on operations with the recognition they so richly deserve.”
Rotation bars have been created to mark multiple rotations in missions eligible for the three medals. Personnel will earn a rotation bar emblazoned with a maple leaf for each period of 180 days of eligible service accumulated after the initial qualifying period of 30 days. With the addition of rotation bars, mission bars will no longer be worn on the GCS and GSM. Instead, the medals will be displayed on ribbons that indicate the theatre or service for which the medal was awarded. This ensures that all service in a defined theatre of operations is accorded the same recognition, regardless of the mission.
Additional changes include an adjustment in the criteria to receive the GSM for a support function, from 90 to 30 days, and the establishment of three distinct ribbons for the GCS and GSM. The South-West Asia ribbon, the Allied Force ribbon to replace the Allied Force bar and the Expedition ribbon to recognize smaller operations conducted in the presence of an armed enemy.
The General Campaign Star is awarded to CF personnel, and members of allied forces working with the CF, who deploy into a defined theatre of operations to take part in operations in the presence of an armed enemy.

The General Service Medal is awarded to CF personnel, members of allied forces and Canadian citizens other than CF personnel serving with the CF who deploy outside of Canada - but not necessarily into a theatre of operations - to provide direct support to operations in the presence of an armed enemy.

The South-West Asia Service Medal recognizes the participation of CF personnel deployed or in direct support of the operations against terrorism in South-West Asia. Eligibility for the SWASM ends as of 31 July 2009 and all service in theatre from 1 August 2009 onwards is eligible for either the General Campaign Star or General Service Medal with South-West Asia ribbon.