One American's View. David Meadows is a retired US Navy Captain
And the author of numerous books and articles on military subjects.
This message was on the U.S. Military.Com website. You will find it
Quite positive. It appears that Mr. Meadows knows one helluva lot
More about what our military is doing than most Canadians. I trust
this message will assist to improve their knowledge.
David Meadows ~ April 27, 2006
On April 22, 2006 four Canadian soldiers were killed in
Afghanistan by a roadside bomb. Respects and heart felt sadness go
to the families of those heroes who stand alongside the U.S. In the
long war half a world away. While we focus on the war in Iraq, the
Fighting continues in Afghanistan where side-by-side the U.S. and
one of its most loyal allies, Canada, engage the re-emergence of
Canada is like a close uncle who constantly argues, badgers,
and complains about what you are doing, but when help is truly
needed, you can't keep him away: he's right there alongside you. We
have a unique relationship with Canada. We have different political
positions on many issues, but our unique friendship has weathered
world wars, global crises, and the ever-so-often neighborhood
Canada has been with us since the beginning of the Global War
On Terrorism. In February 2006, without fanfare Canada, leading a
multinational force combating growing Taliban insurgency, increased
troop strength in Afghanistanto 2,300. With the American military
Stretched thin against rising instability in both Iraq and
Afghanistan, an ally that increases its troop strength is inspiring
and deserves our respect.
Katrina was another example of our close family-like
Relationship. Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. Two
Days later, the Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue Team rushed from
British Columbia, Canada to Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana. In
this Parish of 68,000 Americans, the first responders were
Canadians. Overall, within the devastated Gulf Coast area, it
appears Canada was the first responder outside of local efforts.
They worked 18-hour days, going door-to-door alongside Louisiana
State Troopers, rescuing 119-Americans.
While FEMA ramped up to surge into the catastrophe; while the
Administration and Louisiana fought for the politically correct way
to respond; Canadian aid was already at work.
The Canadian Forces Joint Task Group 306 consisting of the
Warships HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Toronto, NSMC Ville de Quebec, and
CCGC William Alexander sailed to the Gulf Coast to deliver
Humanitarian supplies. They stayed, working along side U.S. Navy and
Mexican warships, to provide aid to Katrina victims.
Katrina was not an anomaly of our close relationship. When
Hurricane Ivan devastated Pensacola, Florida in October 2004
Canadian humanitarian help was there also. Canadian power trucks
roamed the streets and countryside helping restore electricity
where Americans had a unique experience of running into workmen who
only spoke French.
Canada took a lot of undeserved flak for failing to leap into
Operation Iraqi Freedom when our administration sent us galloping
across the desert. But Canada remains one of our staunchest allies
in the war. When United States military forces were fighting up the
highways in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Canada quietly increased troop
numbers in Afghanistan and continued Naval operations with U.S.
Warships in the Persian Gulf.
I was at the Pentagon on 9/11, stationed on the Joint Staff.
During the early hours after the attack, the United States closed
its air space and ordered every aircraft within our borders to land
immediately at the nearest airfield. Canada immediately stood up an
Operations Support Post. With civil aviation grounded, aircraft
destined for the United States were forced elsewhere. Most landed
in Canada. Re-routed travelers and flight crews were hosted at
Canadian Forces facilities in Goose Bay, Gander, and Stephenville,
Newfoundland; Halifax, Shearwater, and Aldershot, Novia Scotia;
Winnipeg, Manitoba; and, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
Canada rapidly mobilized its forces. Within hours, the Canadian
Navy was on alert with ships preparing to cast off immediately for
Any U.S. Port to help victims of the 9/11 attacks. Canada's
Disaster Assistance Response Team prepared to deploy from Trenton,
Ontario. Canada dispersed CF-18 fighter aircraft to strategic
Locations throughout Canada. No politics. No negotiating. No
Questions. They were just there. Canada would have fought any
adversary that approached the United States that day.
Canada has been such an integral partner with the United States
in the Global War on Terrorism that on December 7, 2004 when
President Bush awarded the Presidential Unit Citation to Commander
Joint Force South for combat success in Afghanistan, he was also
recognizing the secretive Canadian Joint Task Force 2 commando
The U.S.Department of Defense has awarded 30 Bronze Star
medals for heroism in combat to Canadian Forces personnel. Some of
those 30 died in action. Many of the others were wounded. These
Canadians earned this American medal for heroism fighting alongside
Americans. When we recall our own dead heroes, we must remember
that these warriors gave their lives not only for Canada, but also
for the United States.
Canada is more than a neighbor. It is a close family member
with the gumption to disagree with its brother to the south but
always be there when disaster strikes and America needs help. For
that, I salute you, Canada, and extend my respect for the
sacrifices given by members of the Canadian Forces.