Welcome

“Afghanistan: A Canadian Story” has been revised, updated and handed off to the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre for e-publishing. The fraudulent 2002 story by Rayne Timmons (he admitted after publication that though he had been in the Army for a few years, he never served in Afghanistan) has been removed, a few that were missed or came in late have been added and one has been moved to the right year. All in all not bad for”errors” in the print version.

For those fortunate enough to either buy or receive a gift copy of the book, you have a one-of-a-kind book. A handful of dedicated volunteers from across Canada spent the better part of almost five years encouraging those who served in Afghanistan to share their experiences there with Canadians. The result is a fascinating collection of stories from 150 men and women who served in one capacity or another, between first deployment by the Royal Canadian Navy in October 2001 to the return of the last troops in March of 2014. This collection is in no way fully representative of the experience of the over 40,000 who served but it does provide a rare and human insight into many aspects of the boots on the ground experience of serving Canada in Afghanistan. And as if that was not reason enough to buy the book, remember that all proceeds go to a variety of Military charities. None of the volunteers made a dime on this. Some of us actually spent a fair chunk of our own change to bring this project to successful conclusion. Enjoy.

Graham Bio Pic 2010

My part in this project is done. I am happily retired now and moving on to other projects. Coordinating “Afghanistan: A Canadian Story” has, however, been an amazing experience. Hard work, unsupported by the Department of National Defence. Fascinating work as the stories and photos came in. Rewarding work as I got to know more of the amazing men and women who serve this country than my job as a Public Affairs Officer would ever have provided.

For those of you who shared some aspect of your deployed experience, my sincere thanks. Without you, this book would not have been possible. I hope it makes it easier for you to share your experience with family and friends.

I also have to take this opportunity to thank the Power Workers Union of Ontario. Without their financial support, “Afghanistan: A Canadian Story” would never have made it past the conceptual phase. There would be no book. This organization was so impressed by the print book that they topped their original support with additional funds to ensure publication of the e-version. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Before the end of March the Facebook page and everything to do with “Afghanistan: A Canadian Story” will be transferred to the control of the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre.

Finally, many many thanks, again and again, to all the wonderful volunteers who helped to make this five year project a resounding success. Awesome support.


“Afghanistan: A Canadian Story” makes a great gift. Chapters Indigo still has a few copies in stores across Canada. The Edmonton Garrison MFRC also has a good supply of books, however, and will ship, no charge.  Simply use their order form – ACS – Order Form and fax, scan and email or snail mail your order. Be advised, they do NOT gift wrap. If you are in Edmonton, just drop by the MFRC and pick up your copy (or copies – a great gift idea).

For folks in Calgary, the Military Museums also have a good supply of the available in their gift shop.

Afghanistan_Front_Cover_1

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Please note AllIt has been brought to our attention that a story in 2002, by Rayne Timmons, is a fabrication. Our apologies to all. Mr. Timmons has asked us to share his apology with everyone:
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“I Rayne Timmons, apologize to all members past, present and future for falsifying a submitted letter to Afghanistan: A Soldiers Story. Everything in the letter was false and did not happen.

I can not begin to say how much I appreciate all the work every hard working man and woman of our great Armed Forces has done for this country, my province, my two little girls and for me.

I look up to all who served here at home and away, and I want them all to know how bad I feel for what I have done.

You, the members are what makes the military a great place to work and people like me should only hold you all in the highest regards. I guess I just  wanted to feel as important as you all are.

And for the great people who created this book, I also send my deepest apologies for tainting such a wonderful book.”

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This submission cannot be removed from the published book, but it will be removed from the web site content and from the e-version of the book we plan for next spring.
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The book shipped to Chapters Indigo on October 20th 2014 and should be in stores now.

It is also available through Chapters on-line: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/afghanistan-a-canadian-story/

It has been four years since the undertaking was first conceived by project founders Lt(N) (ret’d) Melanie Graham and Captain Susan Magill. In that time almost 150 men and women who served Canada in Afghanistan have shared their experiences with Canadians in this remarkable book.

To the Families of the Fallen:

For the past four years volunteers across Canada have been collecting stories and photos from the men and women who served Canada in Afghanistan. The result is a remarkable commemorative book, “Afghanistan: A Canadian Story” that tells the story of the boots on the ground experience of that twelve year mission. We would like to take this opportunity to invite you and your friends and family to attend the launch of this book at the Cartier Square Drill Hall on November 3rd 2014, in a ceremony that will run from 6 pm to 8 pm. Your sacrifice on behalf of Canada can never be repaid or properly acknowledged, but in recognition of the service of your Fallen and in respect and consideration for all that your family has given, we would like to give you a gift copy of “Afghanistan: A Canadian Story”. Jennifer Fraser, wife of Sgt Devin Fraser 2 PPCLI, raised over $8000 to ensure each Family of the Fallen could receive a gift copy of this book. If this is of interest to you please contact us at consult@mywrdwrx.com and arrangements will be made to deliver a copy to you or a recipient of your choice. There is no way to make up for your loss but we hope the stories and photos in “Afghanistan: A Canadian Story” will provide some comfort and in some small way give you a better insight into what individual Canadians accomplished in this mission. tan_maple


Remember, net proceeds from book sales will go to the Edmonton Military Family Resources Centre, to be shared with military support services such as the Boomers Legacy Foundation, the Military Families Fund, the Soldier On Fund and Operation Dignity St Anne de Bellevue Veterans Hospital Foundation. Thanks to the amazing efforts of Jennifer Fraser, over $8000 have also been raised to ensure that every family of the Fallen receives a gift copy of the book. Interested families of the Fallen please email consult@mywrdwrx.com and provide a point of contact so that Jennifer can get in touch. Thank you everyone who has helped to make this book possible.


tan_maple_smallest . . . .  an interactive web site for the development of a hard cover coffee table book that tells the story of the Canadian Afghan Mission 2001 to 2014. Canadian Afghan Veterans, Military, Police, RCMP, Corrections Canada embedded media, and civilians who deployed in support of the mission, have shared their stories and photos with the legacy album: “Afghanistan: A Soldier’s Story” This is not a DND project, but is the work of serving and retired Canadian Forces volunteers. The Edmonton MFRC is administering a fund for the project and net proceeds will be distributed, by them, to Military support services like the Boomer’s Legacy Foundation, the Military Families Fund, and the Soldier On Fund.

Many thanks for your support of this worthwhile undertaking.

Questions can be directed to:

communications@mfrcedmonton.com
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Ce projet, non associé au MDN, est celui de membres des Forces canadiennes en service ou à la retraite.

 Le CRFM d’Edmonton gèrera les fonds du projet et la somme recueillie sera distribué, par eux, à la fondation Boomer’s Legacy Foundation, au Fonds pour les familles des militaires et au Fonds « sans limites » des FC.

Si vous avez des questions, veuillez les faire parvenir par courriel au:

communications@mfrcedmonton.com

24 thoughts on “Welcome

    • Many thanks. Please feel free to pass this web address along to anyone you know who served. The more people we can reach the more representative the book will be.

      Thanks again.

      Melanie

  1. I was the Chief Clerk for the first Army deployment to Afghanistan in 2002.

    We (3VP) were located on the edge of the Kandahar Airfield. My Orderly Room was set up in modular tentage, and the window which my “desk” (a 6 foot folding table) was situated under gave a view of the single mountain in sight, which appeared to grow out of the desert without the aid of an accompanying mountain range.

    I used to call that single mountain my “weather rock”. When you could see it clearly – it was going to be freakin’ hot. When it was somewhat hazy, there was a dust-storm on its’ way. When you couldn’t see it at all – the dust storm had arrived.

  2. At present I am a Canadian Forces Public Affairs Officer in Kabul, Afghanistan. If I may be of assistance, do not hesitate to contact me.

  3. I just listened to Lt Graham’s CBC interview about this project. I think it’s important to hear stories from those with first knowledge and experience, especially while the memories are current and clear.

    We civilians really have little understanding or access to true information and insight about the military experience.

    I’ve read some accounts from American military, but as a Canadian, I want to hear the story from a Canadian perspective.

    Thanks.

    • Many thanks for your support and interest. Please pass this web address along so we can be sure to reach as many folks as possible. We need stories and images but we also need folks like you eager to hear those stories.

      Many thanks again

      Melanie

  4. I servied on 3 tours in Afghanistan, 2004 in Kabul and 2006 and 2009 in Kandahar. The realization of what we were doing and just how dangerous it was over there was brought home to me in Feb 06 when an IED was remotely detonated under my LAV III.

  5. Completely free – gallery quality oil portrait of your fallen hero.

    I am the Canadian contact for Project Compassion. Please pass on my information to anyone who’s suffered the loss of a loved one (military or law enforcement officer) – our world renowned artists would like to paint a gallery quality oil portrait of their hero – at absolutely no cost to them. Please contact me at projectcompassion @ shaw.ca (remove spaces) to get the information. Everything can be done by email – and all they need to do is fill out the form – and send in 5 pictures (pics by email is fine!) – their loved one can be dressed in military uniform – or casual – or formal – whatever pictures they want to send.

    Who is eligible for a free Project Compassion hero portrait?

    The mother, father or spouse of any Canadian or American military or law enforcement casualty who has died in active service since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 is eligible for a free Project Compassion portrait. Project Compassion does not judge the location or circumstances of death within this eligibility.

    To date – over 2500 paintings have been completed (for American military, law enforcement) – and since I’ve been volunteering with the group – we’ve been able to complete about 5 Canadian Heroes – and deliver them to their families. We want to ensure that all of the Heroes are painted and returned to their loved ones – so please help me get the word out – as it’s so hard to do it on my own by research on the internet (obviously, due to privacy concerns, the military will not disclose the members surviving families information – so it’s pages like this that allow me to get the word out!) http://www.heropaintings.com

  6. Actually – just thought – if you would like to include my information for those who read this book – so that they can receive a portrait of their fallen Hero – please contact me – I would love to have this information put in the book. Please read more here Project Compassion

  7. Hello. Sounds like a great project that could help Canadians understand what a soldier goes through when deployed to a foreign land, away from family and friends and facing danger on a daily basis. I spent 14 months living with the Afghans on my two tours in 2006 and 2008 and would love to participate in your book.
    Please feel free to contact me.

  8. Hi Melanie
    In 2010, I worked as a civilian at Tim Horton’s in KAF which was an amazing experience for me, so I thank you for offering the opportunity to participate in this wonderful project. I look forward to receiving information on the parameters of the stories you are looking for as well as the time limit. Thanks again,
    Lee-Ann

    • Hi Lee-Ann,

      We would be delighted to include your stories and images from your tour in Afghanistan. There is information, including a disclaimer statement, at the submissions page, but to keep it simple you can simply email everything to contact@afghanistanacanadianstory.ca and it will be posted to the site. Images need to be high resolution with a caption identifying who is in the picture, who took it, date, location etc. Feel free to encourage others to share their stories and images from their time in Afghanistan. Your stories are well worth sharing with Canadians, especially if they can be shared while the mission is still fairly current in Canadian hearts and minds.

      Many thanks for your interest in the project. I look forward to seeing your submissions and please pass along my best to Alain.

      Melanie
      Afghan Book Project Coordinator

  9. Hi….
    I find this project very interesting….. I am wondering though if we have some French Soldiers who participate in this project. We lost 30 Soldiers from Quebec and as the founder of the non-profit organisation Honour Our Canadian Soldiers which one the main goal is to recognize the work done by our canadian Soldiers…. I would be very happy to see they are a part of this project…… and there would be someone who speaks French…
    Plus one other major part of our organization is to bring moral support to our SOS Families (Soldiers of Suicide) and have these Soldiers recognized as well…….

    Thanks for all you are doing….

    Lise Charron
    Founder and coordinator of the organization…..

    • Hi Lise, I believe you also emailed me on this issue. As per our earlier communication, the book “Afghanistan: A Canadian Story” is not a DND project and did not have the budget to pay for a translator to translate all submissions into French or English. Doing so would also have meant a 600 page book, also out of our budget. As it is, any stories submitted in French were published in French and there are several, so in that regard the book is inclusive. We have been reaching out to those who served since 2010 to gather stories and photos. We have repeatedly asked DND for help in this, especially in reaching out to the Franco community. This help did not arrive until last winter and it was not official help. It was one bilingual officer in Valcartier. Thanks to his efforts we have French content. In terms of SOS Families, we would love to find a place for them in the book and or the book project, but submission cut-off was last May and the book has long since been printed. 600 copies shipped to Chapters yesterday and 2000 to the Edmonton MFRC. Your organization does worthwhile work. I wish there was something we could do to help in some way but the books are owned by the Edmonton MFRC and our volunteers are pretty much tapped out emotionally and financially from bringing this project to a successful conclusion. I wish you every success in helping SOS Families but there is nothing our little group can do for you at this point. Melanie

    • Many thanks. If you or your friends have trouble getting orders shipped in time through Chapters, try the Edmonton MFRC. They carry inventory as well. Many thanks again for the kind words.

  10. First let me say I thoroughly enjoyed reading the publication, however I would like to bring up one critical omission.
    I was a senior member of the contractor team (SNC-Lavalin PAE) which had the CANCAP Project for the period 2003 – 2013 providing civilian support to the forces overseas. We provided civilian staff both in Kabul (479 positions) and Kandahar (371 positions) and the KPRT (14 positions) and deployed over 2,000 civilians over the time of the contract. Our team performed most logistics and CE functions on both bases. I believe we were an invaluable part of the total Canadian effort in Afghanistan but have been totally overlooked in your publication even though you do address other organizations’ involvement.
    I would be interested in providing more details and stories on our support if you are interested for future reference.

    Richard Porritt, PEng
    LCol RCEME (Retired)

    • Sir, apologies if aspects of the Canadian deployment specific to RCEME were over looked. We spent almost five years reaching out to those who had served in an effort to generate the submission of stories and photos. Sadly DND Public Affairs was not prepared to help us reach out and there was no official DND message sent out inviting contributions. There are, no doubt, many components that were not captured in this publication as well as many individual stories and photos. We did what we could with the content that was sent to us. Efforts were also made to find a permanent home for the collection and to add to it with stories and photos of other missions but we could not find a museum or government agency willing to take this on. You can certainly contact the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre to see if your contribution can be added to the e-version of the book that is pending. Wish I could do more, but five years of volunteer work and a few thousand of my own financial resources have left me very ready to move on to other projects (several still to do with telling the story of the Canadian Armed Forces). All the best. Melanie Graham Lt(N) (ret’d) Project Coordinator and Editor in Chief.

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