Kitchener-Waterloo

Afghanistan vets to get war memorials in Cambridge, Kitchener

Kitchener and Cambridge councils have voted to install a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) with commemorative plaques to serve as Afghanistan war memorials in each community.

LAV light armoured vehicles to serve as war monuments for Afghanistan veterans

Up to 250 Light Armoured Vehicles will soon become monuments across Canada. (lavmonument.ca)

Kitchener and Cambridge councils have voted to help fund the installation of a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) with commemorative plaques to serve as Afghanistan war memorials in each community. 

The aim is twofold: to recognize the service personnel who served in Afghanistan, and to provide a modern military monument that would be more relevant to younger people. 

The Canada Company, a charity established to help veterans, is spearheading the project and has invited communities across the country to apply for monuments. The hulls and turrets are to be welded together, and the shell vehicle mounted in a standard configuration, drawing on student welders from Fanshawe College in London.

Cost paid locally

Canada Company says communities must pay the costs of transporting the memorials from London, securing a site and installation. 

Each municipal council has authorized up to $10,000 to go toward the monuments, said Brian Rainville, Honorary Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada (RHFC), project coordinator in Waterloo Region. The RHFC is Waterloo Region's reserve infantry regiment.

Vehicle transportation, site preparation, installation and commemorative plaques for the two monuments is estimated at $40,000, Col. Rainville said in a release. He added that local transportation and construction companies have already indicated they're willing to contribute. 

Rainville said his committee hopes to raise money through a public fundraising campaign to be conducted from September through December.

LAV memorials delayed

The use of Canadian LAVs as war memorials had been delayed by Washington. In April, 2015, CBC News learned that the light armoured vehicle to be used for each proposed memorial is clad in special armour that the United States government considered controlled military technology

The refurbishment of the 13 tonne LAVs, to be installed as memorials resting on concrete pads in Kitchener and Cambridge, would have to comply with the military's requirements including the removal of electronics, engines and weapons. 

The LAV vehicle was used to carry and support Canadian troops fighting in Afghanistan, but the vehicle had also been blamed for more than 50 rollover deaths

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