National Treasure #59: Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan

In honour of Veterans’ Week,
this week’s national treasures are all veterans.
The previous posts were from WWI and WWII; this is from Afghanistan.

In 2006, Canadian Press chose every Canadian solider as the Canadian Newsmaker of the Year. A quick review of Wiki’s entry on Canada’s war in Afghanistan turns up names I should know, but don’t. Here are three.

Sergeant Michael Thomas Denine, M.M.V., C.D.

“Sergeant Denine deployed with 8 Platoon, C Company, 1 PPCLI during Operation ARCHER in Afghanistan. On May 17, 2006, while sustaining concentrated rocket-propelled grenade, machine gun and small arms fire, the main cannon and the machine gun on his light armoured vehicle malfunctioned. Under intense enemy fire, he recognized the immediate need to suppress the enemy fire and exited the air sentry hatch to man the pintle-mounted machine gun. Completely exposed to enemy fire, he laid down a high volume of suppressive fire, forcing the enemy to withdraw. Sergeant Denine’s valiant action ensured mission success and likely saved the lives of his crew.” – Citation for Medal for Military Valour

Sergeant Patrick Tower

“Sergeant Tower is recognized for valiant actions taken on August 3, 2006, in the Pashmul region of Afghanistan. Following an enemy strike against an outlying friendly position that resulted in numerous casualties, Sergeant Tower assembled the platoon medic and a third soldier and led them across 150 metres of open terrain, under heavy enemy fire, to render assistance. On learning that the acting platoon commander had perished, Sergeant Tower assumed command and led the successful extraction of the force under continuous small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. Sergeant Tower’s courage and selfless devotion to duty contributed directly to the survival of the remaining platoon members.” – Citation for Star of Military Valour

Master Corporal Collin Ryan Fitzgerald

“Master Corporal Fitzgerald deployed with 5 Platoon, B Company, 1 PPCLI Battle Group in Afghanistan. He is recognized for outstanding selfless and valiant actions carried out on May 24, 2006, during an ongoing enemy ambush involving intense, highly accurate enemy fire. Master Corporal Fitzgerald repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire by entering and re-entering a burning platoon vehicle and successfully driving it off the roadway, permitting the remaining vehicles trapped in the enemy zone to break free. Master Corporal Fitzgerald’s courageous and completely selfless and heroic actions were instrumental to his platoon’s successful egress and undoubtedly contributed to saving the lives of his fellow platoon members.” – Citation for Medal of Military Valour


Here’s a link to a video about all the Canadian combat deaths in Afghanistan.

Veterans Canada lists the dead by year, with links to more details for each.

Here’s an article about the 2016 Silver Cross Mother, Colleen Fitzpatrick, whose 21-year-old son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

 

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