Like many young Canadians, I dreamed of joining the military from an early age. As a young recruit, I quickly discovered that the Canadian Armed Forces are full of fierce fighters. The men and women in our ranks are some of the best trained military in the world, and they are also the most generous people I have ever met. I toured in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and I’ve seen firsthand how wherever we go, our reputation of diplomacy and kindness follows. We bring a human touch to the conflict at hand. And that’s often left unsaid.
Now, after two decades serving this country, my greatest mission is to encourage Canadians to get to know the men and women wearing the Canadian flag on their shoulders. This collection of inspiring stories is an invitation to do just that: to see beyond the uniform to the person. Whether it’s the young recruit eager to join a world war, the reservist called to respond to a disaster on our own shores, or the medic treating patients for Ebola in Sierra Leone, each one has dedicated him- or herself to protecting our Canadian values at home and abroad. In these pages, you’ll read about daring acts of bravery but also the everyday sacrifices and unsung heroism characteristic of the men and women who have answered the call to serve.