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.