07 September 2011
Ottawa –Dominion Command of The Royal Canadian Legion will mark the return of Afghanistan veterans from their combat mission with its own ceremony to be held at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, 10 September, 2011. This part of the Legion’s “Welcome Back” initiative will be held during a dominion executive council meeting and in front of Legion House at 86 Aird Place in Kanata.
The transition from a combat role to a training role took place on I July 2011 with the subsequent return of some of the troops involved. The have been feted by many branches of the Legion.
The ceremony will involve the Legion’s Dominion President, Patricia Varga, and the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Walter Natynczyk. It will be viewed by the members of the Legion’s dominion executive council, which includes the senior executive and the provincial presidents of the Legion. The commanders of the navy, army and air force in Canada, their command chief warrant officers and other dignitaries have been invited to attend as well.
During the proceedings there will be a dedication of an oak tree to the veterans of the Afghanistan War and a dedication of an Inuksuk, donated by Richard and Claire Léger, to the fallen from that war. The Inuksuk is representative of the one erected in Afghanistan by the troops that served there. It was built by Richard Léger to honour the memory of his and Mrs. Léger’s son, Sergeant Marc Léger, who was one of the first casualties of the war. Mrs. Léger was the Legion’s National Silver (Memorial) Cross Mother in 2005.
“We put out a call to our branches to welcome home the troops that have served on the combat mission in Afghanistan,” said Patricia Varga, ”and more than 200 branches have done it or are in the process of doing it. This is our way of saying thank you in a very small way nationally to the finest that Canada has to offer,” she concludes.
For further information please contact Bruce Poulin at Dominion Command, The Royal Canadian Legion, at (613) 591-3335 ext. 241 or by cell at (613) 292-8760.
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