Another fallen hero — gear up for November 5 Veterans’ Protest Rally

Sgt. Janick Gilbert died in Arctic rescue mission.

Canada has lost another of its own, not in combat but during the rescue of a father and son, two local hunters from the remote Arctic village of Igloolik.

Sgt. Janick Gilbert, 34, made the decision along with two other search-and-rescue technicians to parachute from their CFB Trenton-based C-130 Hercules into stormy freezing waters to save a father and son stranded in their boat outside of the Nunavut hamlet. That makes all three men heroes, but Janick Gilbert didn’t survive.

Nevertheless, the mission succeeded, and the two hunters were saved.

Born in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Sgt. Gilbert served 13 years with the 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron in CFB Trenton’s Air Search-and-Rescue Operation. He represents the mettle and dedication to duty that permeates our military, police and emergency forces. When the chips are down, they don’t ask, “Why me?” They just do it. These are Canada’s sons and daughters, the ones our bureaucrats treat as afterthoughts when they need to have a country determined to care for the fallen and wounded with equal mettle and dedication, whether in combat, in emergency response, or on peacekeeping missions.

Today, Sgt. Gilbert’s wife and his children mourn his loss as do all the rescue teams and their families based in CFB Trenton. He won’t be paraded down the Highway of Heroes because he wasn’t lost in combat. He was lost to an icy raging sea.

As we admire and remember this “consummate pro,” the best way we can serve his memory and sacrifice is to turn out on Saturday, November 5, 2011, in droves across the country to protest our veterans’ treatment. All who serve Canada deserve our best care and treatment, but we won’t find it under current money-pinching politics and arbitrary boards looking for loopholes to evade wounded veterans’ claims and complaints of unnecessary exposure to toxic substances while in service.

Sgt. Janick Gilbert did not die in vain. Two people lived because of his sacrfice. That’s what Canadians need to remember and to stand up for with our veterans in their battle to treat ALL who have served equally: ONE VETERAN. ONE STANDARD. 

Be there with us. November 5, 2011. 11 a.m. 2nd Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest.


About Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen

Bonnie's Blog Posts invite our readers and free spirits everywhere to share life's adventures with us. I talk about writing my novels, reading books, chatting with other writers and John's and my journeys around the world. We welcome your anecdotes to our experiences and discussions.
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4 Responses to Another fallen hero — gear up for November 5 Veterans’ Protest Rally

  1. Bonnie – Thank you for your heartfelt piece telling of Sgt. Janick Gilbert heroic mission, sacrificing his life while trying to save others. May his wife and children continue to hold this honorable man in their hearts, striving to follow in his path to serve others, in his rememberance. May God give them comfort and strength during this trial.

    Many thanks, Nancy

  2. Bonnie . . . I only noticed you’ve listed my blog on your site. I’m so grateful. Even though my book won’t be out until next year, I, too, want to reach as many as possible dealing with the heartache and pain of PTSD. There are so many of us. And to learn that I had developed PTSD living with my husband problems answered a lot of questions eating away my insides. Thank you for the love and support you have poured into your website for all who are exposed to the trauma of war. God bless!

  3. Thank you, Nancy. We welcome your insights and experience, especially about ways of handling PTSD in a struggle to regain a “normal” life, if we can use that word loosely.


  4. I’m a journalist from a paper just south of Trenton, in Prince Edward County. In light of Sgt. Gilbert’s death, and because we’re nearing Remembrance Day, I’d like to write a piece on PTSD, especially in younger veterans and their families, since we tend to focus on the heroes of the world wars and might lose sight of the fact that there are still people losing their lives and their loved ones with the Canadian Forces. If you’re serving, a vet, or a family member living in the area and PTSD is significant in your life, please contact me.

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