Author Topic: CDS apologizes to families for photo caption name mix up  (Read 4042 times)

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Canada’s top general is apologizing to the families of several soldiers killed in Afghanistan after a mix-up in a commemorative book produced to mark the end of the mission.

Gen. Tom Lawson, the chief of defence staff, is reaching out after a photo caption wrongly identified four soldiers as pallbearers carrying a flag-draped casket when in fact, they had been killed in the previous days in Afghanistan.

The mistake is contained in a book produced by the Defence Department that showcases 100 images illustrating aspects of Canada’s long engagement in Afghanistan. The purpose of the book was to “commemorate the work and sacrifice of the Canadian Armed Forces personnel,” department spokesperson Daniel Le Bouthillier told Torstar News Service.

One photo shows four soldiers carrying a casket of a fellow Canadian soldier to a waiting aircraft during a ramp ceremony at the Kandahar airfield on Sept. 5, 2006. The caption identifies the four soldiers as Warrant Officer Frank Mellish, Warrant Officer Richard Nolan, Sgt. Shane Stachnik and Pte. Mark Graham.

In fact, all four had been killed in the days leading up the ceremony. Nolan, Mellish and Stachnik were killed on Sept. 3, 2006 in a ground offensive; Graham died the following day in a friendly fire incident when a U.S. A-10 attack aircraft fired on a group of Canadian soldiers.

Le Bouthillier said the Defence Department and armed forces “sincerely apologize for the error.”

(....)

The Defence Department produced about 800 copies of the book at a cost of about $25,000. About 600 of the books have been distributed so far, mostly to the families who lost loved ones in Afghanistan.
Torstar News Service, 20 May 14
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Offline Teager

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Re: CDS apologizes to families for photo caption name mix up
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 17:47:58 »
Small error but glad the CDS apologized. I believe they meant to list the fallen soldiers from that ramp ceremony.

Anyone know where to get a copy of this book?

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Re: CDS apologizes to families for photo caption name mix up
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 19:49:00 »
Small error ....
Given how many approvals this sort of product gets and how many eyes look at it before it goes to print, I'd say you're being gracious calling it "small". 

I'd agree with others who might think mistaking the names of the pallbearers for those of the fallen in a photo that families are going to see is a pretty significant ball drop.
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Offline Teager

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Re: CDS apologizes to families for photo caption name mix up
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2014, 13:40:19 »
Given how many approvals this sort of product gets and how many eyes look at it before it goes to print, I'd say you're being gracious calling it "small". 

I'd agree with others who might think mistaking the names of the pallbearers for those of the fallen in a photo that families are going to see is a pretty significant ball drop.

Still a small error given how many other screw ups the government has had in the past this pales in comparison. Yes, lots of eyes check things over as all books do but errors are still missed.

Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: CDS apologizes to families for photo caption name mix up
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 18:22:36 »
Bollocks!  If this book was covering the amounts of fallen from the first or second war, sure.  There's tens of thousands of names and stories to go with them.

The fallen in this case total 158.  While that number is 158 too many, it should be nevertheless flawless in it's preparation and presentation to the families and public at large.  I cannot give the department a pass on this one.  Someone shat the bed, period.

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: CDS apologizes to families for photo caption name mix up
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2014, 19:27:35 »
I saw that same mistake right after the parade, but as I was standing with some of the families of the fallen, found it in bad taste to rip apart their nice memento.

But as I've worked with 3 of the 4 dudes in that picture who were carrying another member of the same unit, I was incensed.

JJT has it right, absolute bollocks.