On 24 April 2014 Sgt Dale Kurdziel, a Combat Engineer from 4 Engineer Support Regiment in Gagetown NB, was presented with his Medal of Bravery medal by the Governor General.
The award recognizes Cpl (at the time) Kurdziel’s bravery while defusing an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010. The Citation reads:
On February 19, 2010, Corporal Dale Kurdziel placed himself at great risk in order to defuse a large improvised explosive device (IED), in Afghanistan. With the IED located in a confined space, Corporal Kurdziel volunteered to dismantle it by hand. Equipped with a flashlight, he used his feet and elbows to propel himself inside. It took nearly two hours for Corporal Kurdziel to successfully remove all the IED components.
Sgt Dale Kurdziel was also recently honoured by being selected as one of the few keynote soldiers selected to speak to the crowd gathered on Parliament Hill for the 9 May 2014 celebration of The Day of Honour for participants in the Afghan conflict.
In his address, Sgt Dale Kurdziel noted:
"The work was far from easy, the hours long and the danger always present, but one of the most important things that kept us going was the knowledge that we were never far from the thoughts of folks back home," "Letters from kids all across the country, care packages addressed 'To any Canadian soldier' from complete strangers or a quick phone call home to get something as simple as words of encouragement were the things that put a smile on our faces.
"During the tough times, the truly difficult moments ... these were the things that helped us make it through."