Special medals presented to three Calgary soldiers

CALGARY — Sacrifice Medals have been awarded to three Calgary soldiers during a special ceremony.

CALGARY — Sacrifice Medals have been awarded to three Calgary soldiers during a special ceremony.

The Canadian military created the Sacrifice Medal in 2008 to replace the Wound Stripe.

It’s awarded to members of the military wounded or killed in the line of duty since Oct. 7, 2001.

The award was given posthumously to Cpl. Nathan Hornburg, 24, who was killed by a shell explosion in Afghanistan in 2007.

Cpl. Mark Fuchko and Master Cpl. Sean Markwell also received the award.

Fuchko lost both his legs in 2008 when an improvised explosive device detonated in Kandahar province, while Markwell was injured twice in two separate incidents in Afghanistan in 2008.

“I think it’s wonderful that they’ve developed this medal and that people are being acknowledged for their sacrifices,” said Hornburg’s mother, Linda Loree.

She said she doesn’t want to see her son’s death squandered after Canadian troops pull out of Afghanistan in 2011. Loree would like to see the Canadian military maintain some sort of role there to continue the work her son died for.

“The word ’sacrifice’ will take on an entirely different meaning to me if I don’t feel good what is going to be done post 2011 to validate and use those sacrifices in a way that helped Afghanistan move forward,” Loree said.

Fuchko is now able to walk with the help of titanium prosthetic legs.

“Nothing is going to be able to bring back my legs, but it’s just kind of a nice memento to say you’ve been recognized for what happened to you and all that you’ve been through the last few years,” said Fuchko.

“It’s one of those things that demonstrates, or shows to the rest of us, someone who’s willing to throw everything that they have of themselves at the problem,” said Lt.-Col. Richard Coates, commanding officer of King’s Own Calgary Regiment.