Governor General David Johnston made a special mention in his Christmas message and offered condolences to family members of those military personals who recently allegedly gave up their lives. In the message released on Tuesday, Johnston mentioned that “recent tragic losses have reminded us of the stresses to which you are often exposed and of the subsequent mental health challenges that may result from military service.” He added that “help is available, and together, we must demonstrate a greater sense of responsibility to our men and women in uniform, both during and after active service.”
In a recent unfolding of unfortunate events four soldiers passed away in an apparent attempt of suicide earlier in December, which left a strong urge for the federal government to do more. 46-year-old Master Cpl. Sylvain Lelievre was found dead in his home near the Canadian Forces base in Valcartier, Que. on Dec. 2, while Warrant Officer Michael McNeil passed away in his home at the Petawawa, Ont., military base on Nov. 27. Later, Master Cpl. William Elliott passed away near the Shilo, Man., base and Master Bombardier Travis Halmrastin Lethbridge, Alta, on Nov 25.
Johnston specially acknowledged efforts of those who serve around the globe in disasters ranging from the typhoon in the Philippines to severe flooding in Alberta, Canada. He wrote that “our men and women in uniform show unwavering dedication to helping others and to upholding our democratic values. It is a responsibility that you selflessly exercise on behalf of all Canadians throughout the year, including the holiday season.”
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