All sol­diers should have a medal

The Daily Observer - - OPINION -

On Nov. 11, vet­er­ans will gather to com­mem­o­rate Re­mem­brance Day. Many will proudly wear medals in­dica­tive of their ser­vice. How­ever, many more will be un­rec­og­nized, their left chests bare of any awards. When Cana­di­ans en­list in the Armed Forces, they un­der­take to serve wher­ever they are or­dered. Some are called, some are not. But all have vol­un­teered.

More and more Cana­di­ans who have never worn a uni­form are ap­pear­ing with an ar­ray of awards. The Sov­er­eign’s Medal for Vol­un­teers is awarded for ser­vice to the com­mu­nity, for ex­am­ple, and re­cip­i­ents jus­ti­fi­ably wear it with pride. Com­mem­o­ra­tive or ju­bilee awards are ev­i­dent.

Mean­while, the sol­dier (my generic term) who is not sent over­seas has noth­ing to show for his or her com­mit­ment. In­deed, un­less he or she has served 12 years to qual­ify for the Cana­dian Forces Dec­o­ra­tion, there is no recog­ni­tion for the ser­vice.

This is un­fair. With­out my wish­ing to come up with a mas­sive dis­play or “fruit salad,” surely some form of recog­ni­tion in the form of a “Mil­i­tary Ser­vice Vol­un­teer Medal” should be in­sti­tuted. We did it for the First World War and for Korea. A great way to end our an­niver­sary year!

Les Peate CD Ot­tawa

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