Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 27, 2006 18:47 ET

Statement by the Chief of the Defence Staff on the First-Ever Awarding of Military Valour Decorations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 27, 2006) - General Rick Hillier, the Chief of the Defence Staff, issued the following statement today on the first-ever awarding of Military Valour Decorations to four Canadian soldiers.

"Today is a great, proud and historic day for the Canadian Forces and for Canada. Her Excellency the Governor General-the Commander-in-Chief of Canada-announced earlier today that four Canadian soldiers have been honoured with Military Valour Decorations for heroic and selfless acts in Afghanistan in recent months.

These are among the very highest honours we have to offer for those who show courage in the presence of the enemy. More than that, this is also a first - today is the very first time these awards have been given-the first time the high standard has been met-since they were created some 14 years ago.

The four honoured soldiers are:

- Sergeant Patrick Tower, of Victoria, British Columbia - The Star of Military Valour;

and the Medal of Military Valour, to

- Sergeant Michael Thomas Victor Denine, of Edmonton, Alberta.

- Master Corporal Collin Ryan Fitzgerald, of Morrisburg, Ontario; and

- Private Jason Lamont, of Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

You need only to read the citations for these soldiers to understand the meaning of true heroism: running across open terrain under heavy enemy fire to give aid to wounded and stranded comrades; clearing burning vehicles from a roadway under fire to allow others to get to safety; taking exceptional and resourceful measures under the worst possible pressure to suppress enemy fire and save the lives of fellow soldiers.

These actions reinforce my personal belief that the men and women of the Canadian Forces are among the best, brightest and bravest this country has to offer. Today all their comrades-in-arms in our military offer their heartfelt congratulations to these exceptional soldiers."

More information on this announcement, including full citations for the four soldiers' actions, is available at the website of the Governor General of Canada at

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