Canadian heroes honoured

Governor General David Johnston presents Master Corporal Paul Mitchell from Weymouth, Nova Scotia...

Governor General David Johnston presents Master Corporal Paul Mitchell from Weymouth, Nova Scotia with the Military Valour Decoration, in Ottawa , January 26, 2012. (Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency)

Kris Sims, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 4:29 PM ET

OTTAWA -- Seven men serving in the Canadian Armed Forces were awarded the Medal of Military Valour Thursday.

"Each of you has shown great courage and determination in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. You have tackled challenges of global importance," Governor General David Johnston told a crowd of proud families gathered at Rideau Hall.

"You have contributed greatly to the safety of people at home and abroad, and you have played an essential role in shaping how the Canadian Forces are perceived."

The round wreathed maple leafs were pinned on the chests of: Capt. William Fielding, Master Bombardier Adam Holmes, Master Cpl. Gilles-Remi Mikkelson, Pte. Philip Millar, Master Cpl. Paul Mitchell, Pte. John Nelson and Sgt. Graham Verrier.

Just two of the stories of bravery:

Mikkelson was on foot patrol in November of 2009 when an improvised explosive device blew up, injuring an allied Afghan soldier. The private, originally from Bella Coola, B.C., crossed through intense enemy fire to save the life of the critically wounded man.

Millar, from Lower Sackville, N.S., was returning to a forward operating base in Afghanistan in November of 2009 when it was hit with a massive mortar attack. Rather than taking cover, he ran to the impact zone and gave first aid to his American brothers, saving three of their lives as bombs fell around him. Millar's father, who is retired from the navy, whooped with joy as the medal was awarded to his son. His mother and grandmother wept.

Tears of joy and pride are often seen at these ceremonies.

"They fought to save the lives of these men just as if they were wearing the same uniforms," said Chief of Defense Staff General Walter J. Natynczyk.

The Medal of Military Valour is bestowed for an act of valour and dedication to duty in the presence of the enemy, and is awarded on behalf of the Queen.

To learn more about the recipients, visit gg.ca.


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