Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 04, 2009 11:30 ET

Statement by General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 4, 2009) - General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff, issued the following statement today on the occasion of Canadian Forces Day:

"On Canadian Forces Day, we who enjoy the privilege of serving our country in uniform are expected to stand still and accept the congratulations of the Canadian people. This year, I think it's my turn to do the thanking. I feel deeply grateful to all Canadians, from coast to coast to coast, for the unwavering support they have given our soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, and special forces troopers, and our civilian staff who enable our success, especially through the unprecedented high operational tempo of recent years.

Over the past year, my first as Chief of the Defence Staff, I have travelled all over this country to meet our brave men and women in uniform. I had many opportunities to connect with community leaders, entrepreneurs and citizens of all ages. People constantly tell me how proud they are of the Canadian Forces, of what we do and who we are, and I have to tell you it's downright humbling to be the target of so much goodwill.

I simply cannot overstate how thankful I am that Canadians everywhere, and in every walk of life, take the time to support our troops in so many wonderful ways. Whether it be generous support to the Military Families' Fund, taking part in a Red Rally, hosting CF members and their families at sporting events, or simple gestures such as wearing a yellow ribbon pin, talking to soldiers at the airport or bus stop or writing a message to a deployed soldier, sailor airman or airwoman. These signs of your appreciation make a tremendously important positive impact on the morale of our troops when they are on the high seas, in the skies and on foreign soil, putting their lives on the line to protect Canada's interests.

Our men and women in uniform take pride in serving Canada at home and around the world. This service is much easier when they know they are supported by their friends and neighbours here at home.

As we approach Sunday, June 7, our eighth annual Canadian Forces Day as proclaimed in Parliament in 2002, I want you to know how much the Canadian Forces appreciates our Canadian communities. This year, we celebrate our home communities from coast to coast to coast. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for all you do for us."

On behalf of the entire Defence Team,


General Walt Natynczyk

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