Under the Category of "You Have Got To Be Fracking Kidding Me!!!!!"

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Under the Category of "You Have Got To Be Fracking Kidding Me!!!!!"

Post by teentitan on Wed 17 Apr 2013, 10:58

OTTAWA — Part of Master Cpl. Jonathan Woolvett had been dreading the ceremony where he would be awarded the military’s Sacrifice Medal for his front-line service during two tours in Afghanistan.

As the March 27 ceremony at CFB Borden approached, the mentally injured soldier fought back the demons and memories of firefights that have haunted him for four years.

He steeled himself for the occasion and prayed he could make it through without falling apart.

But behind the scenes there was a glitch: Military brass had forgotten to bring Woolvett’s medal from Ottawa and were scrambling to find a replacement.

Another Borden soldier had one. They borrowed it for the ceremony.

As a major was pinning it on the soldier’s chest he quietly and quickly apologized and explained that the medal, engraved with the name of another soldier, was only his for the ceremony and photographs.

Woolvett’s own medal would be arriving the next day by FedEx, promised the officer.

It didn’t arrive.

“It was deeply distressing to Jon and our family that they managed to mess it up,” said his father Greg, who was in the headlines last year after he “kidnapped” Jon from CFB Petawawa to get him treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder-related alcohol addiction.

“It’s a good thing we didn’t invite more people and have it become more embarrassing than it was,” added Greg.

The Sacrifice Medal, comparable to the U.S. Purple Heart, is awarded to those killed or injured in combat “under honourable circumstances as a direct result of hostile action.”

A week after the ceremony, Woolvett was in intensive care and in restraints for his own protection. For the fourth time since 2010 that he had attempted to take his own life by overdosing on his meds.

The family isn’t blaming the medal incident for Jon’s suicide attempt, but his father says it didn’t help.

“Jon felt humiliated because he knew right away it was someone else’s medal,” he said. “He was deeply disappointed and because of the fears he had leading up to the presentation, it affected him a lot.”

Jon, who is now out of hospital and under renewed psychiatric care, removed the medal immediately after the photographs with his family had been taken and returned it.

According to Greg, the dignity of the flawed medal ceremony was saved for his son by an email sent for the occasion by his former regimental sergeant major in Afghanistan, Wayne Bartlett.

“Let there be no doubt today’s ceremony recognizes your sacrifice, courage and professionalism in the face of an enemy,” wrote Bartlett, now a captain and a trainer at CFB Gagetown. “Your contributions to the team and missions were always foremost and every soldier could rely upon both your leadership and support regardless of the situation.

“Soldiering can be compared to that of a potluck supper,” he added.

“For it to be successful, everyone must bring something to the table. Lord knows, there are those who just choose to eat but Woolly, you have always arrived at the table with your arms full.”

Despite the disappointment, Greg said his son was initially understanding of what he considered to be a mistake by a busy military officer and happy enough that the medal would arrive the next day by FedEx.

But as the days passed and the medal didn’t arrive, the disappointment grew.

“It wasn’t good for his mental state,” said Greg. “To have it drag on for another 12 days before he actually got the medal — well, it sucked.”

The medal had been sent to the wrong address — the military’s Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) at Mississauga — got stuck in the mail system and was finally hand-delivered to Woolvett at CFB Borden by a JPSU major.

In an email to the Citizen Sunday, a military spokesperson admitted the “unfortunate circumstance” and said the officer involved made a mistake and immediately tried to rectify it.

“This error is in no way representative of the value and importance DND and the ACF place on the recognition of military members,” said the spokesperson.

Woolvett, who has struggled with alcohol addiction and depression since returning from Afghanistan, had just been released from hospital after a second suicide attempt when his father drove through the night from Burlington on May 1 last year and took his son directly to a rehab centre in Windsor.

The soldier had been missing sick parades and Greg believed his son was “a dead man walking” and on the verge of being arrested for going AWOL.

After his stay in the rehab centre, Woolvett was allowed to continue his service at CFB Borden where Greg says his son has been treated well and compassionately, compared to the “Alamo” style of Petawawa.

Woolvett is now being slowly being transitioned out of the army.

He did two tours in Afghanistan, one of six months in 2007 and one of seven months in 2008-09. He returned to Canada suffering from chronic night terrors, profuse sweating and recurring nightmares.

Like many Canadian soldiers on the front lines, he witnessed the aftermath of improvised explosive device attacks as well as the death of many close friends and Afghan children.

“I’m pleased to be getting the medal,” Woolvett told the Citizen two weeks before the March medal ceremony, “but I don’t want it to be some big hoopla. It will be a tough day for me. The anxiety is going to be through the roof because it’s a kind of culmination of everything. I will try to prepare myself for it mentally, but it will be an overwhelming day.”

Greg, who has been urging the military to develop a more intense, comprehensive treatment plan for mentally injured soldiers, says his son wants to put the medal incident behind him.

“He has taken the medal in for mounting,” he said. “We know how strongly he feels about getting it and we collectively hope it turns a bit of a corner for him.”

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Botched+medal+ceremony+deeply+distressing+soldier+with+PTSD+father/8251318

/story.html#ixzz2Qff0G7Fl
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teentitan
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Re: Under the Category of "You Have Got To Be Fracking Kidding Me!!!!!"

Post by Rags on Sun 28 Apr 2013, 07:13

As taken from text I assume reporter wrote it.
"The Sacrifice Medal, comparable to the U.S. Purple Heart, is awarded to those killed or injured in combat “under honourable circumstances as a direct result of hostile action.”

As a direct result of enemy action? Is this a change? It never said this when criteria was set down. One of the key reasons the sacrific medal took the place of the Wound Strip was cause you can only get a WIA strip for direct enemy action and that cancelled out alot of people. Like freindly fire, accident, Random IED, the list goes on and has PTSD in there also as a non qualifier. For the WIA strip even guys who got hit with a bullet or shrapnel not directed at them did not count. It had to be combat and it had to be enemy engagement of you.

On the issue of the ceremony. I think the Officer did a good thing good thinking and nice for another soldier to give up his medal for a day to keep another brother from being disappointed. Quick thinking and nicely done. Bloggins should have been appreciative of the gesture and protection of his brothers in arms to help him through a though spot.

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Re: Under the Category of "You Have Got To Be Fracking Kidding Me!!!!!"

Post by teentitan on Sun 28 Apr 2013, 10:24

This whole thing is a dog and pony show. This is the father who literally kidnapped his son from Pet. The military was going to charge the father with kidnapping and the son for AWOL but they let it go. But it still turned into a shit storm in the media.

So I think this medal was a peace offering. Forgetting the medal? Typical. I received my Peacekeepers medal in the mail. So I stood in front of my mail box at attention...saluted...stepped back...saluted then marched away.

What got me is it took two weeks to get the kids medal to him!
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Re: Under the Category of "You Have Got To Be Fracking Kidding Me!!!!!"

Post by bigrex on Sun 28 Apr 2013, 14:09

We've all seen screw up in the military. Unless you're an Officer posted to NDHQ, there is no guarantee with anything. I received my CD over 2 years late, because my DO had forgot to send in the paperwork, and when he finally did send it, by the time it had been sent here to Halifax, I had been posted to Ottawa at the Naval Electonic Warfare Centre. Personally, I think that the medal should be awarded to anyone who is injured in an operational theatre, because they have sacrificed their health and bodies in the name of Canada. After all it is called the sacrifice medal, not the wounded in combat action medal. This would be to recognize the hazardous conditions we have lived in while in and AOR, aside from direct combat, and maybe give those wounded on combat a clasp to identify them.
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Re: Under the Category of "You Have Got To Be Fracking Kidding Me!!!!!"

Post by Rags on Mon 29 Apr 2013, 07:02

Teen,

You know your still a soldier when.......you salute the mail box and do a proper turn.

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Re: Under the Category of "You Have Got To Be Fracking Kidding Me!!!!!"

Post by Guest on Mon 29 Apr 2013, 08:42

i got my CD1 in the ADJ,s office while in civies.no salute no handshake was offered ore would have been accepted.

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