June 26: Letter from the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) to CAF members deployed on Op LASER

June 26, 2020 - Defence Stories

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To those Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members who deployed to Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF) as part of Operation (Op) LASER,

Words cannot properly express how proud I am of you and your efforts these past few months. Thanks to your efforts, lives have been saved. Because of you, Canada was made safer. That is our calling: to protect Canada and Canadians.

Over the past few months CAF members from all across Canada have worked diligently to support Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF) in both Ontario and Quebec. This part of Op LASER was incredibly complex, with many of you taking on non-standard tasks in unfamiliar environments. Your ability to rise to these challenges was a testament to your professionalism and selflessness. You entered into high risk environments day after day, with some of you contracting the virus. Yet, that did not stop your determination nor your spirit.

I am pleased to report, and relieved to hear, that those who contracted the virus during the start of the mission have recovered, and those who are still COVID-19 positive are receiving all the necessary care as they continue to follow quarantine procedures. Never forget that the sight of you entering LTCF’s brought hope to both ailing residents and concerned family members who were watching from afar, as well as to the facility staff themselves.  To your family members, I know that you have been worried. I want to personally thank you for your fortitude during these difficult times.

As you depart LTCF’s, Op LASER continues as it must. COVID-19 remains a persistent threat and the CAF will remain poised to support provinces and territories at a moment’s notice. My thanks to those whose presence on this operation ensures that the CAF is ready to respond if and when we are called upon by the Government of Canada.

You are a shining example of what the CAF can do. You have all brought great credit to our institution with your duty, compassion, and integrity.

You make us all proud to serve alongside you.

J.H. Vance

General

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