Watching the CBC broadcast of the Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, a few veterans and soldiers noticed something just wasn't right as "sergeant" Franck Gervais appeared on the nationally broadcast screen. The problem: Gervais is not and has never been a member of the Canadian Forces and certainly did not earn the medals adorning his uniform. While he would have looked convincing to civilian eyes and probably gone on to continue this fraudulent activity, his appearance on a national broadcast tipped off CAF members who noticed incongruities with his uniform. Impersonating a CAF member is a criminal offense, so Gervais will likely face charges. What's more? We later learned that Gervais wore the same decorated military uniform on his wedding day. Read the complete CBC article here.
Yesterday, sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers was recognized by members of parliament in Israel for his brave efforts in stopping the gunman in the Ottawa shootings on Oct. 22, 2014. He was in Tel Aviv for a long-planned security conference and made a stop at the parliamentary chamber, where he and the rest of the Canadian delegation were welcomed by members of parliament. He also met with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was quoted saying: "This terror attack in Ottawa proves, once again, that Islamic radical terrorism has no limits and respects no borders. Israel and Canada stand side-by-side in the international effort to eliminate terrorism." Read the complete CBC article here.
Some veterans are outraged by new additions on the National War Memorial in Ottawa, which now includes the dates of the Afghanistan and South African wars. The Royal Canadian Legion specifically is against singling out specific conflicts and believes the monument is meant to honour all military personnel who have sacrificed their lives at home and abroad. Read the Toronto Star article here.
With the help of U.S. aid drops and airstrikes, combined with reinforcement from the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga and some Free Syrian Army rebels, Kurdish defenders in Kobane are reportedly pushing back against ISIS insurgents who have already gained control in half of the city. Read the Telegraph article here.
Canada's joint task force commander in Iraq, Daniel Constable, provided an update this morning on the fight against ISIS in Iraq. A video which shows an airstrike carried out on Nov. 11 was released at the same time. The airstrike is one of only two that the Canadian Forces have carried out in the 68 sorties they have flown since arriving in Kuwait on Oct.30. Constable says ISIS is changing their tactics and are likely hiding artillery in buildings or burying them in the sand to camouflage their whereabouts. Read the full CBC article here.