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No doubt about it, Canada's had some heroic military moments. But in more recent times, our forces have had a rough go. Budget cuts, old equipment, low morale, and then, along came General Rick Hillier.
As Canada's top soldier, he was credited with reinvigorating the forces. He fought for more funding and more respect from Canadians. Once, he said: "In this country, we could probably not give enough resources to the men and women to do all the things that we ask them to do. But we can give them too little - and that is what we are now doing."
Hillier is a soldier's soldier - and would you believe he tried to enlist when he was just eight years old? Obviously, he was too young, but as soon as he could, Hillier signed up, and moved up the ranks.
In 1998, he led the military effort during that epic ice storm in Quebec and Ontario. After that, a multi-national force in Bosnia. Then in 2003, he became head of Canada's army, and led NATO's security force in Afghanistan.
In 2005, he was named chief of the defence staff, the top dog in our military. Hillier retired last year, and now, has a book out - called 'A Soldier First.' And how's this for a line: "Sometimes," Hillier writes, "our war felt like it was in Ottawa, not Kandahar."