Kevin “Sammy” Sampson VP Veteran Support

WO Kevin "Sammy" Sampson, CD (Ret'd) VP Veterans' Support

Sammy Sampson brings a combination of military experience and corporate experience to the CMEA. He joined the Canadian Forces in 1987 and deployed on the Iranian border as a Signal Corps Radio Operator in an isolated observation post in 1988, at 18 years old. By the time he retired, Sammy had served 21 years and completed seven tours of duty in front line units overseas including Iran, Kuwait, Rwanda, Haiti, Central Africa, Bosnia, Afghanistan.  After re-mustering to the Engineers in 1999, Sammy served almost 10 years as a Geospatial Technician retiring as a Warrant Officer, working within the highly classified NDCC 2; a 3-year secondment to NATO Intelligence in Italy and supporting all Tier 1 and Tier 2 Special Forces units in Southern Afghanistan in 2002. 

In 2016 and due to Complex-PTSD from Rwanda, Sammy began publicly speaking openly on the subject and its prevalence amongst Rwanda Veterans.  His research identified a 50% anomalous PTSD rate amongst those Veterans. More importantly, he found that the government and Parliament were denying that the Rwanda mission even existed and there were no Government historical records to prove otherwise.  Undaunted by the government’s mismanagement and based on years of research of United Nations databases and Access to Information Requests, Sammy was successful in convincing the government that hundreds of Canadian soldiers did deploy to Rwanda in 1994 with a UNAMIR II 5000-soldier brigade (United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda).  The resulting front-page article in the Globe & Mail contributed to resolving many issues injured Veterans were facing obtaining necessary benefits from Veterans’ Affairs Canada and within the Veteran Community, who like many Canadians, did not believe a mission to Rwanda in 1994 existed until 2018. (See The forgotten Rwanda mission).

Sammy has remained an active leader in seeking out assistance for veterans. He founded and serves as vice-president of the Rwanda Veterans Association of Canada. Sammy has also researched and developed the online Pension Disparity Calculator used by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs to articulate the financial differences in injury compensation according to Veteran class and continues to advocate for better benefits; researched, wrote and campaigned for Parliamentary ePetition e3217 for Persian Gulf Veterans and the Conservative Party of Canada, tackling Canada’s failure to acknowledge ‘War;' and has been invited to speak to Parliament’s ACVA Committee on how the lack of an effective Mission Classification System affects Commemoration.

Following retirement, Sammy joined a Remote Sensing startup company in the Maritimes as the Director of Sales.  Employing revolutionary digital technology Leading Edge Geomatics provided New Brunswick EMO with more than 1000 square kilometres of accurate orthoimagery a day during the historic floods of 2008 – a first in North America and unachievable by DND.  With a Software development company, Sammy led Sales to New Zealand and was contracted to provide direct support to the SAS for C4ISR and Geomatics Technical support.  This included a presentation on how Canada operates during emergencies to the New Zealand Army’s General Staff and the New Zealand Parliamentary Committee on Security in lead up to their hosting Rugby World Cup 2012.  Sammy also worked with solutions-based companies contracted by the Canadian Government, managing multi-year projects including DND’s implementation of Axios Assyst and the Sexual Assault Database (Pilot).  He brings a sound understanding and appreciation for Government Policy and hierarchy.

Sammy played competitive hockey in North America and Europe throughout his career.  While in Italy, Sammy was trained by the UK as the Hooker for NATO’s Rugby Team and when the UK needed someone to lift and move the 12 Pounder Cannon during the historically prestigious ‘Royal Navy Field Gun Competition’ held annually in Portsmouth, they turned to Sammy.  As No 1 on Cannon, Sammy is the only Canadian Army NCO to participate in the highly desirable Naval competition overseen by Royalty, in 100 years.