Over the past week, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon recognized the service of more than 60 members of the Canadian Armed Forces, seven of them from Kingston and Belleville.
Global News spoke to some of them about their military careers and what it meant for them to receive a Meritorious Service decoration.
“It was really quite humbling,” said Colonel Tod Strickland after receiving his service medal from the Governor General.
Strickland was stationed in South Korea from June 2018 to November 2019. He acted as deputy chief of staff operations at the United Nation’s command headquarters.
“My job initially was to organize the headquarters and redevelop or work at revitalizing what the headquarters would look like, in particular, if we went to war,” he said.
It was no small task considering the political climate in North Korea at the time.
“(There were) exercises being cancelled, the North Koreans were launching missiles into the sea of Japan, you were trying to build space for diplomacy to work,” Strickland said.
He received his medal for helping prevent a volatile situation from escalating into a potential war.
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Colonel Allan Ferriss received a bar to his meritorious service medal for his role in Mali.
Ferriss was based out of CFB Trenton when he was deployed to the West African nation in 2019, where he was tasked with overseeing logistical and medical air support for the United Nation’s stabilizing mission there.
“We would dispatch the aircraft with medical services to provide life-saving supports from the back of the helicopter and then bring them to more fixed hospital infrastructure,” Ferriss said.
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Both Colonels credited their successes to the men and women who served with them.
“There were so many soldiers, sailors, aviators and officers that participated in the mission who equally deserve recognition,” Ferriss said.
These awards came only days before Remembrance Day, where men and women like Strickland and Ferriss were remembered and honoured for their service.
“We live in this great country because of a lot people before us that have come and paid the ultimate sacrifice and I would encourage everyone on Remembrance Day to take a moment and just reflect upon that,” Ferriss said.
Also honoured by the Governor General were Colonel Travis Morehen, Brig. Gen. Michel Henri St. Louis, Major Ralph Holah, Chief Warrant Officer Steven Merry and Major Marc Raven, all of Kingston.
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