A Regina man is asking why his son and other indirect casualties of war will not be awarded a new Sacrifice Medal to honour fallen soldiers.
Ben Walsh's son, Master Cpl. Jeffrey Scott Walsh, died in Afghanistan in 2006 when he was accidentally shot by a fellow soldier.
When Canada's Gov.-Gen. Michaëlle Jean announced that a new honour called the Sacrifice Medal would be awarded mainly to slain or wounded members of the Canadian military, Walsh inquired about his son.
Walsh received a reply in early September, saying his son was not eligible for recognition.
"It wasn't the answer I expected from them," Walsh told CBC News on Tuesday.
The Sacrifice Medal, he was told, is mainly for soldiers killed or wounded as a direct result of hostile action, and accidental shootings by comrades do not qualify.
Walsh said that means 13 Canadians killed in Afghanistan will not receive the honour. He said the policy should be changed.
"It was not their choice to die in Afghanistan, they gave their life for Canada."
Walsh said all soldiers' families deserve compassion and understanding for the loss of a loved one.
Last night on CBC, a military historian said this issue dates back to Britain's treatment of Canadian soldiers during World War II. Airmen whose planes were shot down received posthumous medals; airmen whose planes crashed did not.
I would think Stephen Harper and the Conservative Government would treat Canadian troops better than the British did. Another 13 medals would just break the bank, eh? Or somehow devalue the medals already given out? I really doubt that Canadian soldiers would rather Jeffrey Walsh was denied a medal. Most ordinary Canadians are not as mean-spirited as Stephen Harper.