My Dad decided that he wanted to share this. It’s in the press now, so he wants it on Facebook. It took 29 years for him to tell me this story, and the reasons it came about are unfortunate.
“I would like to address the current situation of Omar Khadr. I am a Canadian Veteran who served in the Canadian Military for 15 years. I am appalled and disturbed by our federal government’s actions in awarding a convicted terrorist and murder, 1. His freedom, and 2. $10.5-million.
I served this country in many peacekeeping missions and training many of our military. I myself was injured in 1988. Let me tell you my story.
On June 12, 1988, I was involved in a training exercise involving “Live Fire” to simulate war as far as possible, to prepare our soldiers for what they could face. I myself was the Seargent in Golf Company, 2RCR. We were attacking a simulated defensive position. During this, a safety officer and myself heard mortar shells over to our left. They started to get close. I proceeded to tell Sgt. Patterson to call on the radio “No Duff” (which means – everything is to stop immediately, something has gone wrong). I then turned to my platoon and told all my men to get down. Then I was struck in the back by something breaking my ribs which stood me straight up, and I felt it bounce and cut its way through my body. Yes, an 81mm mortar shell exploded behind myself and Sgt. Patterson. I fell to the ground like a tree; still conscious with only the ability to move my neck. All I could hear was Sgt. Patterson crawl up behind me, because he was hit in the leg. He assessed me and exclaimed “Oh, F***. Which at the time was first aid procedure. I was then helicoptered to the Oromocto Hospital. I remember just landing and seeing a doctor jump in exclaiming that they could not help me here. I was then lifted to the Fredericton Hospital. On the ride, I told Cpl. Hennessy to keep me awake. I was afraid that if I fell asleep that I would not wake up. About a half hour later, we landed at the hospital in Fredericton. They put me on a stretcher from the chopper and rushed me to the operating room. I told them not to let me die. The nurse told me everything would be alright. It was then that they put me out and proceeded with the surgery. After my surgery, the doctor went to my wife. She was told to stop crying, that they had me back together. We were told later, that I had died three times on the operating table. I had last rites performed. I can honestly tell you, Omar Khadr never suffered the way I did; or the way that many of our Veterans and soldiers have and are. I was supposed to die that day.
Due to “rules,” I am not even eligible to receive a wounded or sacrifice medal. They say because I didn’t sustain my injuries overseas that I am unqualified. Being injured, what is the difference of what country you are in? What is the difference between sacrificing overseas and sacrificing at home? It still blows up and cuts the same. I sacrificed, willingly, my body and my spirit for my country. Yes, this all happened to me in a training exercise, but many of our service men and women have done this overseas in combat. Many are unable to share their stories and many others cannot face their stories. I have never once regretted my service, I have always supported our military and encouraged enlistment. It was a true honour to serve my country. Today, however, I feel as though it was for nothing. My first application to Veterans Affairs came back saying that the accident never occurred. But I had proof. It took 10 years of fighting for my Veterans benefits. It was my accident that was debated in the government of Canada, that before our troops went to Yugoslavia, they needed new body armour. The body armour I wore that day was from the ’60s. It was like butter. Even though this was a big change and advancement in our military, our military still lacks in being up to date in its equipment and armaments. This is a true insult to anyone who has fought and died for this county. This man, Omar Khadr, was involved in fighting against Canadians and aiding in killing many. Not only has Omar Khadr committed treason against Canada, I feel that our Prime Minister has now aided and abetted a known terrorist and a terrorist family, and should be tried along with him for treason. I feel that this action of our Prime Minister and our Liberal government is not only an insult to our allies, but also an insult to our military service men and women. This has opened the door to any Canadian “citizens” who have gone over and joined ISIS to fight against our Canadian Soldiers, and is captured and “abused”, but nothing as extreme as being hit by shrapnel and your body being ripped apart; they will be rewarded from the Canadian government $10.5-million. I wish to ask our government: Is this really what our country stands for? Is this what our government wishes to tell our service men and women that they are fighting to protect citizens who wish to fight against us? For these people to be awarded financially for fighting against their country?”
A Retired Warrant Officer
Please share. Send it to your MPs with your concerns. Or just share it. Maybe more of our service men and women will feel encouraged to share their stories. The people need to be reminded what our military, police, firefighters, and our first responders do and sacrifice for us.