Simon Mailloux

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Captain Simon Mailloux', CMR, MSc, (born November 2, 1983) is a serving officer in the Canadian Forces. He was severely injured on 16 November 2007[1] in an IED incident in Afghanistan and, as a result, his left leg was amputated. In November 2009, Mailloux redeployed to Afghanistan becoming the first Canadian amputee to deploy to a war zone as a combatant.[2]

Captain Simon Mailloux
Captain Simon Mailloux in a Shura in Afghanistan.jpg
Born Simon Jean Mailloux
(1983-11-02) 2 November 1983 (age 31)
Quebec City, Canada
Occupation Officer Royal 22nd Regiment (Line Infantry)
Years active 2007–Present,
Spouse(s) Kari Pries

Early years[edit]

Born in 1983 and raised in Quebec City, Quebec, he graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in 2006 with a Bachelor of Military and Strategic Studies and from the University of Glasgow in 2011 with a Master of Science in Politics and International Relations. During the summer of 2005, he received an international exchange scholarship from the Canada Corps initiative launched by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) on behalf of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).[3] His research took place at the École de Maintien de la Paix, of Kulikovo, and the Institut de Recherche sur le Développement, of Bamako in Mali.[4] He conducted research on Post-Conflict Security during a period of four months and participated in peacekeeping staff training initiatives.

Military career[edit]

Upon graduation, he was posted to the 3e Bataillon Royal 22e Régiment in Valcartier, Quebec and quickly joined the deploying formation as a platoon commander. Mailloux was injured by an IED explosion on 16 November 2007 which killed two soldiers, an interpreter and wounded several others.[5] Mailloux underwent several surgeries and months of rehabilitation.[6] Following this, he was appointed Aide de Camp to the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall in Ottawa and participated in the Presidential visit of Barack Obama to Ottawa, the 2009 visit to Haïti and the Emperor and Empress of Japan visit to Canada. In 2009, he joined the Task Force Kandahar Headquarters as a Brigade staff and later worked as a staff with the Counter-IED Task Force in Ottawa.[7] In 2013, he was appointed as one of the honorary Aide-de-Camp to the Quebec Lieutenant-Governor. [8]

The Prime Minister of Canada announced a National Day of Honor to be held across Canada on the 9th of May 2014. This celebration was to mark the end of the mission in Afghanistan and the ceremony on Parliament Hill, presented live on all major news channels, was to be Emceed by Rick Hansen, Honorary Colonel, and a representative from the Canadian Forces. On the 6th of May 2014, the Prime Minister announced that the second emcee for this national event would be Captain Mailloux. Mr Harper mentioned that “Captain Mailloux’s unwavering commitment to duty, country and fellow Canadian Armed Forces Veterans has earned him tremendous respect and admiration among military personnel and across Canada. His true grit, strength, sacrifice and dedication are inspirational and serve to remind us all of the fortitude required to serve as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.”[9] He is currently serving in a unit with the Royal 22nd Regiment.

Comparison to Georges P. Vanier[edit]

Vanier as an officer of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1918

Surprisingly, there exist many similarities between the history of Captain Mailloux and another war veteran, the late Governor General of Canada Georges P. Vanier. Indeed, both of them are French Canadian officers in the Royal 22nd Regiment, are decorated combat veterans, have lost a leg during a battle, kept serving in uniform after their amputations and, finally, they have also served as Aide de Camp to a Canadian Governor General during their service. These similarities have recently been outlined by Capt Mailloux's willingness to speak publicly on behalf of the wounded and supporting charitable causes such as Soldier On much to the likeness of Mr Vanier who was a staunch supporter of veterans and youth. Capt Mailloux also apparently served in Scotland while Mr Vanier served in London as a diplomat prior to the Second World War.

Media appearances[edit]

Injured Soldier[edit]

Since February 2008, Mailloux appeared in many provincial and national media outlets explaining his experience and promoting the support of the Canadian Forces veterans. He was one of the first francophone soldier to be injured and played a similar role as Mcpl Paul Franklin from Edmonton, who was injured in January 2006, in becoming a nationally known advocate for serving amputee soldiers.[10] On 2 March 2008, he participated in the popular Quebec talk show "Tout le Monde en Parle"[11] and was on the cover of the February 2008 edition of the magazine "L'Actualité".[12] Mailloux participated in the 2012 Army Run taking place in Ottawa, Canada and won first place of the 5 km run in the Amputee category. The prize was awarded by LGen Peter Devlin, Commander of the Canadian Army.[13]

Return to Afghanistan[edit]

When his return to Afghanistan was announced in September 2009 Mailloux made an appearance on the talk show Canada AM, the Quebec show "Dumont 360", the cover of Le Soleil newspaper, CBC Newsworld,[14] LA Times[15] and many others. Capt Mailloux is also quoted in General Rick Hillier's book, A Soldier First, as a "young wounded lieutenant that asked if he could return with his comrades". Recently, Capt Mailloux was heralded by a Winnipeg Free Press editorial as an example that a serious injury is not stopping a soldier from serving its country and that more place should be made for them.[16] Many questions remained on the intention the CF wanted to achieve by sending Mailloux back in Afghanistan.

Remembrance Day 2013[edit]

Capt Mailloux was the guest of the George Stromboulopoulos Tonight Show on CBC for Remembrance Day 2013.[17] He was being interviewed on many different topics, but mainly to explain his story and what remembrance Day meant for him. On the same day, he was featured on the 24/60 show on Radio-Canada speaking on behalf of the injured. Mailloux was being filmed training in a gym.

Social involvement[edit]

Mailloux is frequently seen running the annual Army Run taking place in Ottawa along with other Canadian war veterans.[18] He is also involved with the Canadian Forces Soldier On program in raising funds to buy adaptative equipment for wounded soldiers across the country.[19] Mailloux has visited many injured soldiers in hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Edmonton, Quebec City and Ottawa and takes a continuing interest in activities for wounded soldiers. On 6 February 2012, Mailloux among other deserving Canadians received one of the first 60 diamond jubilee medal recognizing "his leadership within the Canadian Forces and his efforts to help the soldiers injured during the war in Afghanistan [20] which were given by the Governor General and the Prime Minister of Canada.

Capt Mailloux was the gala dinner keynote speaker for the Canadian Institute for Military and Veterans Health Research (CIMVHR) during the 2013 Forum held in Edmonton. [21] Capt Mailloux was introduced by the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Julian Fantino, and "spoke about his experience with losing a limb in Afghanistan, how he was able to rehabilitate and eventually return to combat. His story was truly inspirational to all who attend the Forum." [22] The following year, Capt Mailloux published an article in the Canadian Military Journal [23] in which he make recommendations to improve the return to work programs for soldiers using lessons he learned during his rehabilitation. Capt Mailloux's experience as an amputated serving soldier is respected among the Canadian Forces and many applaud his leadership in the care of our injured and veterans as is exemplified by his academic research and public work. He is now recognized as a role-model who inspires others to overcome their injuries and push their limits. [24]

Sacrifice medal[edit]

On 9 November 2009, Capt Mailloux was among the 46 first recipients of the sacrifice medal awarded at Rideau Hall by the Governor General of Canada.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.lactualite.com/20080221_152638_4672
  2. ^ http://www.cyberpresse.ca/le-soleil/actualites/societe/200909/22/01-904531-malgre-une-amputation-simon-mailloux-repart-pour-le-front-afghan.php
  3. ^ http://www.rmcclub.ca/eVeritas/2005/Issue27/200527.htm
  4. ^ http://www.rmcclub.ca/everitas/2005/Issue016/200516.htm#RMC_Officer_Cadets_to_study_in_Mali
  5. ^ http://www.globaltvbc.com/health/Amputee+soldier+heads+back+Afghanistan/2028364/story.html
  6. ^ http://fanset8.blogspot.com/2009/09/amputees-unfinished-business-in.html
  7. ^ http://everitas.rmcclub.ca/?p=60712
  8. ^ https://www.lieutenant-gouverneur.qc.ca/honorable-pierre-duchesne/equipe-en.html
  9. ^ http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/05/06/pm-announces-second-emcee-national-day-honour
  10. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2009/09/24/edmonton-paul-franklin-retires-military.html
  11. ^ http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4x1e7_tlmep-lieutenant-simon-mailloux-ret_news
  12. ^ http://www.lactualite.com/20080221_152638_4672
  13. ^ http://www.facebook.com/CanadaArmyRun
  14. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/09/24/quebec-afghanistan-injured-soldier.html
  15. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/27/opinion/oe-michelhunter27
  16. ^ http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/military-forgets-flexibility-124337004.html
  17. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFbBQqLZmqo
  18. ^ http://weblog.johnwmacdonald.com/2010/01/captain-simon-mailloux.html
  19. ^ http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/commun/ml-fe/article-eng.asp?id=5429
  20. ^ http://new.calgaryherald.com/Medal+award+kickstarts+Queen+Diamond+Jubilee+celebrations+Canada/6108607/story.html
  21. ^ http://www.cimvhr.ca/documents/CIMVHR_Newsletter_Issue_6.pdf
  22. ^ http://www.cimvhr.ca/documents/CIMVHR_Newsletter_Issue_7_0.pdf
  23. ^ http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vol14/no2/PDF/CMJ142E.pdf
  24. ^ http://www.lapresse.ca/le-soleil/actualites/societe/201407/23/01-4786268-un-pompier-de-quebec-veut-revenir-au-combat-malgre-une-amputation.php
  25. ^ http://www.legionmagazine.com/en/index.php/2010/01/sacrifice-medal-mixes-pride-and-loss/