Author Topic: Medals Parade  (Read 8709 times)

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Offline BYT Driver

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Medals Parade
« on: July 09, 2006, 07:57:22 »
There are a meriad of Medals and Awards presently in the Candian Forces today.  I thought this would be an appropriate place to start a string where members can post (brag) about thier medals and awards with a small blerp to describe the "gong" and what it was issued for.  This goes along the lines of the "Video Veterans" stories that the Legion has started to keep our "War Stories" alive for future generations.  I would also give our civilian members a great climpse into military life and just exactly what some of us do for a living. 

     I proudly wear: The Gulf and Kuwait medal with Bar for service during Desert Storm (1);  The United Nations Disengagement Observation Force (UNDOF), Golan Heights (Israel/Syria) 2000;  The Canadian Peacekeeper Service Medal (CPSM) for UNDOF;  The Special Service Medal with bar for Alert (SSM) for CFS Alert 2003.  I was awarded the CFIOG Commandants Commendation (coin and plague) for gallant service fighting the Power Plant fire in Alert 2003, I was part of the Volunteer Fire Department (VFD);  And finally the Canadian Decoration 1 (CD1) for 22 years of service. Not bad for 22 years in, used to be a time when you were lucky to see someone with a CD and maybe a UN medal or two.  Now we see young privates with 3 or 4 UN tours under thier belts.

    I welcome everyone to do a little bragging here.  I would especially like to see some Bravery and Mertitorious Service award stories.
   Kudos, Bravo Zulus and let's keep the traditions alive.
   

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2006, 23:44:53 »
One of my lasting memories of someone talking about the decorations and medals that he was wearing occurred in 1994.  I had the good luck of having a COS date out of Lahr that permitted me to arrange my passage home on the Queen Elizabeth 2 sailing out of Southampton on 8 June.  I was able therefore to drive to Normandy and spend 6 June 94 (50th Anniversary of D-Day) visiting some of the memorials and events there; take the ferry across to England; turn my car over to Cunard for loading onto the ship and then relax for several days on the North Atlantic.  The voyage was billed as a “D-Day Memorial” cruise.  Many of the passengers were WW II veterans, mostly American, some Brits, and at least one Canadian.

One of the events that occurred on the ship was the Captain’s Welcome Party.  Dressed in finest bib and tucker, you go through the receiving line, have your photo taken and then proceed to the most important part of the soiree… getting a drink.  Some of the other passengers were wearing medals, ribbons or devices that showed that they had served.  I was in mess kit as were a few of the other passengers including a Van Doo LCol and a husband & wife who were both pilots in the USAF.   It was particularly easy for the Van Doo and me to be noticed in the scarlet monkey jackets. 

A few people had approached me with the inevitable questions about who we were and what were we doing.  I was chatting with a lady when we were approached by a gentleman in a maroon jacket that included Cdn para wings and several medals.  He introduced himself and joined in the conversation which naturally turned to where had you been.  He had served with the 1 Cdn Para Bn as a private during the war and had made the jump into Normandy and over the Rhine. 

The lady with whom we were chatting asked about the medals and wings he and I were wearing.  I probably would have answered in my typically flippant manner about 12 years undetected crime (C.D.), 6 months getting a suntan and not getting a venereal disease (UNEFME) and 4 years wine and beer tasting (SSM with NATO bar), but he replied first by drawing her attention to the one medal we had in common, the Canadian Forces Decoration.  I was surprised when he told her it was the one that he was most proud to wear.  The lady asked why.  His reply impressed me and later that evening I wrote an account of what he said, maybe not verbatim, because we had imbibed several beverages, but close enough for government work.

He said.  “ It’s easy to be a soldier when everyone is or wants to be a soldier; when being in uniform is the normal thing to do.  The true measure of a man is his commitment to serving his country when there is little chance of excitement, or glory or getting medals.  This medal (he indicated his CD) shows people that we pledged a significant portion of our lives to serving our country when few others would, doing things that we didn't necessarily want to do and that were not very glamorous.  These (he indicated his 4 or 5 wartime medals) I got for spending 3 years in uniform doing what most guys my age were doing. Was it hard work and dangerous? Yes. But mostly I had a lot of fun doing it.”

Since then I’ve had a different perspective on those little pieces of ribbon that we wear.
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Offline Roy Harding

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2006, 00:12:25 »
...
He said.  “ It’s easy to be a soldier when everyone is or wants to be a soldier; when being in uniform is the normal thing to do.  The true measure of a man is his commitment to serving his country when there is little chance of excitement, or glory or getting medals.  This medal (he indicated his CD) shows people that we pledged a significant portion of our lives to serving our country when few others would, doing things that we didn't necessarily want to do and that were not very glamorous.  ...


Wow.

I have never thought of it that way - thanks for that memory, it's inspiring.
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Offline reccecrewman

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2006, 09:32:16 »
I know this isn't a current story, but rather one of our heroes from the Great War.  Unfortunately, I can't remember who it was but heard it on the History Channel told by Anne Medina.  Canadian's aren't exactly known for bragging about their medals........... A friend of mine has 2 CDS commendations under his considerable rack of medals and I've never heard (from him - I have from others) how he got them...... he just kinda shrugs his shoulders and says something about being in the wrong place at the wrong time and doing the right thing. Typical Canadian.  ;)  But hearing this one always makes me smile...........

Shortly after the Great War ended, a young man who had served in the War returned home and took a job as a postal clerk.  One day, a doctor came into the post office and had some packages that needed to be sent.  The postie weighed and stamped them, and then filled out the paperwork on the invoices.  The doctor noticed that his title of M.D were not placed at the end of his name and raised the issue with the postie saying how he wanted his title at the end of his name because he EARNED that distinction.  The postie apologized and placed the title after the doctors name and that was that.  A few months pass and the postie takes a trip to the doctors office for an ailment and lo and behold, it's Mr. M.D!  The doctor examines the postie and fills out paperwork on him.  He finishes up with the postie and sends him on his way.  At the door before leaving, the postie turns to the doctor and says......... "Doc, do you rember me?" "Of course I do, you work at the post office" "Well, I noticed on your file you have there, you didn't have MY title after my name, after all, I'm quite certain I'VE earned it" "What title do you have?" He smiled at the doctor and before closing the door behind him, said "VC".

Imagine how petty that doctor felt when the postie left his office................  8)

Regards
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Offline Centurian1985

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2006, 11:02:25 »
Unfortunately, we cannot measure the dedicaton of a soldier by the medals they wear.  One medal can mean either a total of 30 days in a country or on an operation while the same medal on another soldier could men seven months of busting his butt above and beyond the call of duty.  Many awards are awarded due to an action reported by or witnessed by a person with suitable rank and inflence.  There are many soldiers out there who have done amazing things yet never received recognition.  Many of these same men and women do not want the public recognition or could not be given the public recognition.  In the end, the medals only tell others where you have been or that a specific service has been recognized.  They dont tell the whole story.     

Offline BYT Driver

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2006, 11:27:34 »
That is why I started this string so that we can pass on the stories behind the medals and awards.  It is meant as a positive place for story telling.  So that maybe future generations can read about our present heroes and/or the places we've been to in our careers.  This is not a place to belittle or demean others for what they've been awarded.  This is the to bring the story to light and celebrate them.  Yes, I agree that some medals are just for showing up (read the 125 medal!) and some have been awarded below what the person actually did.  For example; SAR crews often recieve bravery medals for a hazardous rescue, this is the place to tell that story! 
Kudos.

Offline reccecrewman

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 13:51:22 »
My personal thoughts on this is it won't fly too far.  While the intent behind is is good, and I love reading such stories (I love Parkie's thread on a soldiers perspective for that reason) I just can't see our men & women tooting their horns like that.  It seems to be a very Canadian military trait that our guys just don't seem to have the braggart in them. 

Look at Tess........... There's a man whose been to hell & back, and I've never heard anything from him on these forums about his experiences.  I've only heard second hand information.  That just seems to be the way Canadian soldiers work.  I'd love to meet John and shake his hand on the manner in which he comported himself in that ordeal, and am happy he's doing well today and still involved with the 48th.

Regards
Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference....... Soldiers don't have that problem.

Better to die fighting, standing on your feet than to live life serving on your knees.

Offline 3rd Horseman

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2006, 21:07:45 »
Reccecrewman,

   You have a point but so does Gaspasser, Why not use this thread to brag about people we know and the deeds they have done. I think that was the intention behind Gaspasser idea.
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Offline Centurian1985

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2006, 15:41:00 »
Perhaps a new thread titled along the lines of 'Stories of Interest' or 'Tales of Worthy Acts' would be more appropriate?  Not neccesarily heroic acts, but can be used to post events people have observed and found worth passing to others as examples of exceptional actions?  I have read quite a few of these in different threads, but not all assembled in one place.

Offline BYT Driver

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2006, 22:10:22 »
".....This medal (he indicated his CD) shows people that we pledged a significant portion of our lives to serving our country when few others would, doing things that we didn't necessarily want to do and that were not very glamorous."
Until now, I didn't look at my CD1 in such a manner.  Now that I look back at it, 22 years is a long time to commit oneself to something.
Thanks Balckadder.
GP :salute:

Offline BYT Driver

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2008, 11:17:09 »
I've known about my great uncle since my grandmother mentioned it one day.  It took a bit of searching to find his name; her memory was starting to go.  I was reading the thread on Canada's VC and followed it to GC and GM at Wikipedia.   Kind of gives me a warm fuzzy  to know that someone in my family was awarded this medal for bravery.  Richard Samual Bywater :army:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_George_Cross_recipients

 :cdn:



Offline fbr2o75

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2008, 12:42:53 »
I'm gladI took the time to read this thread, my CD didn't really mean a lot to me, until today.

Offline BYT Driver

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2008, 12:50:48 »
...and, You're Welcome.   :cdn:

Offline Harris

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2008, 13:12:23 »
Thank you for the CD story.  Makes me look at mine in a whole new light.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 13:16:58 by Harris »
Cheers

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Offline Rodahn

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2008, 13:38:18 »
He said.  “ It’s easy to be a soldier when everyone is or wants to be a soldier; when being in uniform is the normal thing to do.  The true measure of a man is his commitment to serving his country when there is little chance of excitement, or glory or getting medals.  This medal (he indicated his CD) shows people that we pledged a significant portion of our lives to serving our country when few others would, doing things that we didn't necessarily want to do and that were not very glamorous.  These (he indicated his 4 or 5 wartime medals) I got for spending 3 years in uniform doing what most guys my age were doing. Was it hard work and dangerous? Yes. But mostly I had a lot of fun doing it.”

Thanks for the above, it certainly causes one to look at the CD in a different light. I had never really thought of it in this context previously, always as the "12 years of undetected crime etc".

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Offline lone bugler

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Re: Medals Parade
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2008, 00:37:24 »
wow thanks for the CD story, absolutely amazing, and now that I think about it those tiny rosettes mean a whole lot too, 10 years of undetected crime for one little metal device is it?
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