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Cpl Jess Larochelle, SMV

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Not much info beyond what I’ve seen on Facebook, but it appears Cpl (Ret’d) Jess Larochelle SMV of The RCR has passed away.

IMG_3027.jpeg

From the Governor General’s website:

Private Jess Randall Larochelle​

Petawawa, Ontario, Canada

Military Valour Decorations​

Star of Military Valour​

Awarded on: March 14, 2007
Rank: Private

On October 14, 2006, Private Larochelle of the 1st Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group was manning an observation post when it was destroyed by an enemy rocket in Pashmul, Afghanistan. Although he was alone, severely injured, and under sustained enemy fire in his exposed position at the ruined observation post, he aggressively provided covering fire over the otherwise undefended flank of his company’s position. While two members of the personnel were killed and three others were wounded in the initial attack, Private Larochelle’s heroic actions permitted the remainder of the company to defend their battle positions and to successfully fend off the sustained attack of more than 20 insurgents. His valiant conduct saved the lives of many members of his company.
May he rest in peace.
 
A shame, really.



RIP, Ubique

🍻
 
This is very sad to hear. If you remember that their was advacy for a soldier to receive the VC from Afghanistan, this was him.
 
Condolences to family, friends & former colleagues ...
 
Veterans community insists former Pte. Jess Larochelle deserved the Canadian Victoria Cross

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Sep 01, 2023 12:37 PM

jess-larochelle.jpg

Former Pte. Jess Larochelle was awarded the country's second highest decoration for bravery in Afghanistan, but veterans lobbied for him to receive the Victoria Cross for his heroism in 2006. Larochelle passed away on Aug. 31, 2023. (Supplied )

A former soldier whose bravery in Afghanistan almost 17 years ago won him Canada's second-highest citation for bravery in combat — the Star of Military Valour — has died.

Pte. Jess Randall Larochelle's death was announced on social media late Thursday by his brother Andrew and confirmed by friends and fellow soldiers in the veterans community.

A cause of death was not released immediately. Larochelle had been in poor health for several years after retiring from the military.

A group of former soldiers calling themselves Valour in the Presence of the Enemy has been pushing the federal government and the Department of National Defence to review his citation and upgrade it to the top combat honour — the Canadian Victoria Cross.

'The least they could do': Veterans push Canada to award its first Victoria Cross

Lobby grows to give northern Ontario soldier Canada's highest military honour
Private's actions were 'superhuman' says vet pushing for him to receive 1st Canadian Victoria Cross
The group has failed to convince the senior leadership of the Canadian Armed Forces that newly revealed information about Larochelle's actions on Oct. 14, 2006 in Pashmul, west of Kandahar City, merits upgrading the award.

Larochelle had been in fragile health for several years following his service as a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment.

"It is with great sadness that I must announce the passing of my brother, Jess," Andrew Larochelle wrote late Thursday on Facebook.

"He was an amazing person that words cannot describe. We don't really know exactly what happened and are waiting for more information."

The family has asked for privacy. In accordance with the former soldier's wishes, his family announced there will be a "hangout at the camp fire" in lieu of a funeral because it was one of his favourite things to do.

'My hero and friend'

A former comrade, retired corporal Bruce Moncur, remembered being warmly welcomed to the unit by Larochelle prior to their deployment to Afghanistan.

Moncur and retired general Rick Hillier, the former chief of the defence staff, have both pushed the government to upgrade Larochelle's award to the Canadian Victoria Cross, which has never been awarded in its modern form.

"My hero and friend Jess Larochelle, Star of Military Valour recipient, was an unassuming, quiet man," Moncur said. "He was a superhero."

Moncur was wounded in early September 2006. He was still in hospital six weeks later when Larochelle held off an estimated 40 Taliban fighters attempting to overrun an observation post.

"Everyone I talked to said he had to get the Victoria Cross for what he did," Moncur said Friday. "His story resonated with me for years."

The area of Pashmul, Afghanistan where Private Jess Larochelle fought off a Taliban attack in Oct. 2006. Veterans are asking the governor general to upgrade LacRochelle's Star of Valour citation to the Victoria Cross.

pashmul-afghanistan.jpg

The area of Pashmul, Afghanistan where Pte. Jess Larochelle fought off a Taliban attack in October 2006. (Murray Brewster/The Canadian Press)

Larochelle and members of his section were manning a position along a stretch of road that was being built between two major Canadian forward operating bases through the arid grapefields of Panjwaii, a district in Kandahar province.

Two members of his section were killed and three others were wounded in the attack.

Larochelle grabbed one of 15 M72 rocket launchers that miraculously had not been destroyed in the initial attack. He used it in place of his wrecked machine gun to hold off the Taliban fighters, who later retreated.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/soldier-victoria-cross-canada-1.6954450
 
Utterly shameful and disgraceful that this guy didn't get the VC while still alive. The least they can do is give it posthumously. For fuck's sake, he fought off forty enemies single-handedly with a broken weapon. If that doesn't get a VC I don't know what does.
 
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