Tuesday, April 15, 2008
FAREWELL TO A TRUE "GENTLE" MAN
Today our beloved General Rick Hillier resigned as of July 1st/08. For my friends below the 49th Parallel, General Hillier is our Chief of Defense Staff and is responsible for all three branches of the Canadian Forces. He's led us through the last three years of the Afghanistan war (there - I said "war"), and brought amazing changes to how the military in Canada does things.
It was Hillier who bought us four C-17's so we could stop borrowing yours to transport our tanks and armoured supplies and soldiers to the Middle East. It was Hillier who fought the government on putting money into military housing, and resources for military families to be able to put up with long distance relationships when they have/had to. He brought back our morale, our pride in our Forces, and the awareness that we have a place on the world stage, and it's not just to sit by and do nothing.
My husband met him at a Wing function here in Winnipeg. The General was kind enough to spare a few words to an officer who he doesn't know personally. But, he took the time to show in a quick minute that he appreciated my husband as a military member.
The Canadian Forces haven't seen strong leadership like General Hillier's since before the Korean War. His boots will be hard to fill. We can only hope that his successor has half of his courage both on the battlefield and off it. He will be truly missed.