I would like to wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to Canadians everywhere, especially to the families
and friends of our Fallen Soldiers-Our Canadian Heroes, as well as to the Creator of our fb
Cause-Andrew Tobin, (a very proud Canadian soldier), all of our Canadians who have ever served this
great nation of ours, and to all of those wonderful Canadians who are currently serving all over the
world, as well as all of their family members and friends who serve each and every day with their
This is a special letter of Thanks from a grateful American gentleman, and I thought that I'd let this
person say "Thank You" to all of our terrific Canadian Forces, their families and their friends.
So--for all of our wonderful Canadian Heroes, those who have paid "the ultimate price" and to all of
our Canadian Heroes who are still serving, I, along with all of our members, (currently, over
344,000!), dedicate this letter of gratitude to EACH and EVERY one of you-
One American's View - Mr. 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 a lot about what our military is doing.
On April 22, 2006 four Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb. Respects
and heartfelt 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
Canadians serve side-by-side the U.S. And one of the most loyal allies, of the United States, is
Canada, engage in the battles of the re-emergence of the Taliban.
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 neighbourhood
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 Afghanistan to 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.
Hurricane 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 alongside U.S. Navy and Mexican warships, to provide
aid to Katrina victims.
Hurricane 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
Re-routed travelers and flight crews were hosted at Canadian Forces Bases in Goose Bay, Labrador, as
well as Gander, and Stephenville, Newfoundland; Halifax, Shearwater, and Aldershot, Nova 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 Canadian Forces Base 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 counter-terrorism unit.
The U.S. Department of Defence 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 fallen 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 neighbour. 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
Canada, and extend my respect for the sacrifices given by members of the Canadian Forces.
What an awesome country you are Canada!
Captain David Meadows (Ret.)
United States Navy