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Honoured for their sacrifice| Soldiers injured in roadside bomb given medal to commemorate time in Afghanistan

Posted on 17 February 2010 by .

Cpl. Bradley Osmond would have preferred not to have received a Canadian Forces Sacrifice Medal.

“It’s a great honour but not something I would have liked to have gotten,” Osmond said after he and fellow soldier Cpl. Matthew Dicks were presented with the medals during a ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 10 at the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre (CFRC) in North York.

Honoured for their sacrifice. Corporal Bradley Osmond receives the Canadian Forces Sacrifice Medal from Commodore Dan MacKeigan during a ceremony Wednesday at 4900 Yonge St. Staff photo/DAN PEARCE

On April 11, 2007, Osmond was en route to relieve other members of the Recce Squadron at a remote observation post west of Kandahar, Afghanistan, when his light armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb.

Osmond, who currently lives in North York, sustained a serious concussion, three fractures to his left wrist and nerve damage to his left arm. The explosion marked the fourth time his patrol was struck by an improvised explosive device.

Osmond has worked as a file manager at CFRC since July 2008.

On the same day, Dicks’ light armoured vehicle was returning from assisting another soldier who was injured on a different convoy two hours earlier when they received a call to help Osmond’s patrol. Dicks’ vehicle hit a roadside bomb only 750 metres from where Osmond was.

The second explosion killed the driver and crew commander of the vehicle and seriously injured Dicks. Two other soldiers suffered minor injuries.

Dicks was airlifted to a United States military hospital in Germany before flying back to Canada, where he underwent extensive hospital stays in Ottawa and Pembroke.

While confined to a wheelchair, Dicks returned to work in June 2007. He resumed full duties in January 2008 and currently works as a range patroller.

“This is a very important and solemn occasion but not too solemn,” Commodore Daniel MacKeigan, commander of the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group, said prior to presenting the Sacrifice Medals to Osmond and Dicks. “In some ways this is a celebration and in some ways it’s recognition of what we do.”

With their families snapping pictures, MacKeigan presented the Sacrifice Medals to both Osmond and Dicks.

Originally from Twillingate, Newfoundland, Osmond has also been awarded the Chief of Defense Staff Commendation for saving two civilians after his patrol was hit by a roadside bomb in an attack.

Dicks, from Foxtrap, Newfoundland, currently resides in Barrie.

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Barrie soldier honoured with medal

By: Sgt Bill McLeod

Corporal Matthew Dicks received the Sacrifice Medal in a ceremony Wednesday at the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group office in Toronto.

Corporal Dicks, originally from Foxtrap Newfoundland was wounded in action on April 11 in 2007 as a result of an improvised explosive device strike while on patrol in Afghanistan which resulted in the death of his driver Trooper Patrick Pentland and his crew commander Master Corporal Allan Stewart. As a result of his injuries, he was flown from Kandahar to Germany for emergency medical treatment and then on to Canada where he had extensive hospital stays in Ottawa and Pembroke.

Sgt Bill McLeod, CFB Borden Base ImageryCpl Matthew Dicks receives his Sacrifice Medal, Wednesday, from Commodore Daniel MacKeigan, Commander Canadian Forces Recruiting Group, at a ceremony in Toronto.

He returned to work in June of 2007 while confined to a wheelchair and resumed full duties in January of 2008. He was posted to Canadian Forces Base Borden in September of 2008 and is currently working with Range Control; patrolling the training area in an effort to ensure the safety and security of all members using the training area.

“It is a great honour to see our men and women in uniform who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and who are wounded in action be awarded with the Sacrifice Medal,” said Col. Guy Hamel, Base Commander for Canadian Forces Base Borden. “Cpl. Dicks is among the bravest soldiers, I want to thank him and his family for making Canada proud.”

The Sacrifice Medal was created to provide formal recognition to those Canadian Forces members who are killed or wounded by hostile action. It is also awarded to a soldier that dies under honourable circumstances as a result of an injury or disease related to military service. Members of an allied force working as an integral part of the Canadian Forces, such as exchange personnel, and civilian employees working under authority of the CF may also be eligible to receive the Sacrifice Medal. This honour replaces the Wound Stripe.

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Sacrifice Medal

The Sacrifice Medal was created in the context of increased casualties in overseas operations to fulfill the desire of Canadians and the federal government to provide formal recognition, through the award of an official medal emanating from the Crown, to those who die as a result of military service or are wounded by hostile action.

The medal may be awarded to members of the Canadian Forces, civilian employees of the government of Canada or Canadian citizens under contract with the government of Canada, on the condition that they were deployed as part of a military mission under the authority of the Canadian Forces, that have, on or after Oct. 7, 2001, died or been wounded under honourable circumstances as a direct result of hostile action.

The ribbon is a watered ribbon, with a black central stripe flanked by red edges centered on which are white stripes. Black represents the mourning of the dead and the shock of the wounds, the red represents the blood that has been spilled and the white, the hope for a better future.

- Canadian Forces

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