Private Thomas Welch’s family were presented with his Sacrifice Medal, Memorial Cross, and Memorial Ribbon during a service in early September to honour the memory of Private Welch, who tragically ended his life in May 2004.
“My thoughts are with the Welch family today as we remember Private Thomas Welch. His loss is a reminder that we can always do more to care for our members and to support their families,” said BGen. Stephen Cadden, Commander, 4th Canadian Division.
The memorial service was held at Garrison Petawawa by the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment, Pte. Welch’s home battalion.
“Private Thomas Welch was a proud member of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. We are humbled to be able to honour him, alongside his family,” said LCol. Kris Reeves, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.
The Sacrifice Medal is a tangible and lasting form of recognition for the sacrifices made by Canada’s soldiers who were killed or wounded in the line of duty.
Pte. Welch was the first Canadian soldier to return home from the Afghanistan war and take his own life. After years of military investigation, the military acknowledged his death was a result of his deployment.
The Memorial Cross and the Memorial Ribbon were presented to the Welch family as a memento of personal loss and sacrifice in respect of military members who died in service or whose death is attributed to their service.
The Canadian Army says it will continue to support the Welch family through their healing process.