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Legion Urges Government to Exercise its Powers to Push for Arctic Star Medal

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 03/17/14 -- In December 2013, the Legion took on the plight of some 200 Canadian Veterans of the "Murmansk Run" still alive today and asked that these brave Veterans be authorized to proudly wear their Arctic Star Medal with the honour and recognition they deserve.

While the letter was acknowledged, no authorization appears to be forthcoming. "These Veterans are getting older, they eagerly want to add these medals to their chests and it would be a great distinction for them to wear this medal before they pass away," says Dominion President Gordon Moore.

Hundreds of Canadian Veterans and their families have been able to apply for the Arctic Star through the British government for their service in the Arctic in World War II... but they may not legally wear it in Canada.

The Canadian Honours System has yet to recognize this important medal. While shameful, The Royal Canadian Legion is urging the Canadian Government to make it a matter of priority to recognize the medal for those aging Veterans who deserve to be recognized for their bravery.

Braving treacherous seas and temperatures as low as -60 degrees C, Veterans ran the gauntlet of German planes and U-boats to supply the Soviet ports of Murmansk and Archangel between 1939 and 1945. More than 3,000 men died, 85 merchant ships and 16 Royal Navy vessels were lost. In late 2012, nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, the British government introduced the Arctic Star to honour these brave men and women. The medal is awarded for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle between 3 September 1939 and 8 May of 1945.

The application form and background information for the Arctic Star Medal may be found at: http://www.veteransuk.info/arctic_star_index.htm.

ABOUT THE LEGION

Established in 1926, the Legion is the largest Veterans' and community support organization in Canada with more than 320,000 members. Its mission is to serve all Veterans including serving Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police members as well as their families, to promote Remembrance and to serve our communities and our country.

The Legion's Service Bureau Network provides assistance and representation to all Veterans regarding their disability claims, benefits and services from Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. In communities across Canada it is the Legion that perpetuates Remembrance through the Poppy Campaign and Remembrance Day ceremonies. With more than 1, 460 branches, the Legion supports programs for seniors, Veterans' housing, outreach and visitation, youth leadership, education, sports, Cadets, Guides and Scouts.

We Will Remember Them.

Contacts:
Bruce Poulin
Dominion Command
The Royal Canadian Legion
(613) 591-3335 ext. 241
cell: (613) 292-8760
bruce.poulin@legion.ca

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