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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

How we treat our heroes

[originally posted to Daimnation!]

The Canadian Forces are launching an investigation into the treatment of Canadian snipers who served with - and were decorated by - American forces in Afghanistan:

The military ombudsman has launched a special investigation into why Canadian Forces snipers were treated like "turncoats" by their comrades after serving with American troops in Afghanistan.

The probe was started last week by Andre Marin after he received an unprecedented request from Gen. Ray Henault, chief of defence staff, The Canadian Press has learned. "It's the first request we've ever had by the chief of defence staff to investigate a case," Marin said Wednesday. "We're taking it very seriously."

Hailed as heroes in early 2002 by the U.S. military, the six Canadian marksmen were later given highly coveted Bronze Star medals - awards normally reserved for American soldiers who display extraordinary heroism during combat.

However, sources close to the investigation say the snipers were treated with much less than high regard when they returned to their Canadian bases, both in Afghanistan and back home.

"They were treated as outsiders and sort of turncoats," said one source who didn't want to be identified.

"At least three of these guys have since quit the army over their treatment."

Posted by Damian Penny on September 29, 2004 in Military | Permalink


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Sigh. How depressing. Come on South, guys. We'll take you in and make you feel at home.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! | 2004-09-29 7:55:51 PM

What a country!

Anyone who bags an Al Qaeda terrorist monster from 2430 meters is a hero in my book. It's a gruesome thing to do, but it couldn't happen to nicer people.

It is a sad commentary when another country appreciates your soldiers more than yours does.

Alberta should secede, join the US, and treat these guys like the heroes that they are.

Posted by: Scott | 2004-09-29 8:38:05 PM

Unbelievable, but not surprising. It was only a matter of time before Liberal rot extended to the soldiers themselves (let's hope this is an exception, not the rule). People can only be ridiculed and belittled for so long before they start to believe their detractors.

What a decline our country has taken. From the fourth most powerful military in the world to this state of affairs in just 50 years. What a disgrace.

Just one more reason to polish up the resume and drain my brain to a warmer climate.

Posted by: Matt Hillier | 2004-09-30 7:45:22 AM

I'm also not surprised by this sad development. When you treat the soldiers as badly as the government has done, for as long as it has, the inevitable result is the development of variants of the "Stockholm Syndrome" among the troops themselves.

Posted by: Nicholas | 2004-09-30 10:02:18 AM

It is true that a military will begin to reflect the values of its culture. To an extent it is inevitable.

However I would like to find out how Canadian snipers who were not working with American forces were thought of.

It is not unusual for snipers to be disparaged by their own troops. Despite the valuable contribution that snipers make, they are sometimes seen as a bit unsavory. Men who are not part of courageous face-to-face combat.

Troops can be suspicious of them.

Posted by: Greg in Dallas | 2004-09-30 10:25:55 AM

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