08 October 2010

Atlantic Canadian Soldier To Be Award­ed Meritorious Service Medal

Master Cpl Derick Lewis will be awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his heroic actions in Aghanistan while serving with the Royal Canadian Regiment.
The explosion knocked Der­ick Lewis off his feet, send­ing him flying 25, maybe 50 metres from the injured sol­diers he was trying to help.

Amid roaring rocket attacks and a hail of gunfire, Lewis’s mind was impossibly calm, his bloody body remarkably free of pain.

He yelled “I’ve been hit," wondered if his arm was gone, and crawled, seeking the only thing his training would allow: the relative safety of badly outnumbered Charles Company comrades under attack by Taliban fighters.

It was an ambush.

And Operation Rugby was doomed to retreat.

Its two platoons of 60 or so Canadians, along with members of the Afghan Na­tional Army, intent on seizing a Taliban headquarters, had driven their light armoured vehicles across the Arghandab River straight into a massive firefight.

Four members of Charles Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, would die that day. Others, like Lewis, were badly injured. And doubt would be cast on the circumstances of these battle­field casualties some four years later when WikiLeaks, an international whis­tleblower website, said friendly fire was to blame.

But that part of the story Lewis will get to a bit later, as surely as he got to the wounded that fateful morning of Sept. 3, 2006.

And just like the 32-year-old gets now to the story of how a boy from Kentville will soon be among a select group award­ed the Meritorious Service Medal for his “exemplary perseverance and devotion to duty."

In the words of a government news release, he helped save lives when “de­spite being wounded, he assisted with the assessment, treatment and evacuation of the other casualties until his own injuries forced him to stop."
By: Shelldrake

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