QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 1, 2011) -
Editors note: There is a photo associated with this press release.
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today was at the Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport to welcome home more Canadian soldiers returning from the combat mission in Afghanistan.
"I know all Canadians feel the same mixed emotions on a day like this," said Minister Blaney as he greeted Canadian Forces members mostly from the Royal 22e Régiment based at CFB Valcartier. "While we are filled with joy and relief to see these courageous men and women returning home safely, we will never forget their 157 friends and comrades who gave their lives making the world a better and safer place."
Minister Blaney said the Government of Canada also remains committed to providing essential care and support to those men and women who have returned home injured in the line of duty.
"Our Government is determined to serve our Veterans, our Canadian Forces members and their families as they have always served Canada," said Minister Blaney. "That is why we implemented the New Veterans Charter and enhanced its benefits and programs to meet the evolving needs of the men and women it serves."
Rotating Canadian soldiers served almost 10 years as part of the UN-mandated and NATO-led combat mission in Afghanistan. Canada's role in the combat mission concluded early last month. Up to 950 Canadian Armed Forces trainers and support personnel will now focus on helping Afghanistan's various security forces to assume sole responsibility for the country's security under Operation ATTENTION, the Canadian component of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan.
"It was an honour for me today to again meet so many of our country's finest sons and daughters and to express our nation's gratitude for their service and sacrifice," said Minister Blaney. "We are proud of the real and lasting difference our men and women in uniform have made in defending our shared values of peace, freedom and democracy. They are heroes in the truest sense of the word."
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