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A Charlottetown reservist will receive one of the highest military honours in the country from Gov. Gen. Julie Payette next week in Ottawa.
Maj. Trevor Jain will receive the Order of Military Merit (officer level).
Of the 26,000 people in the Canadian army today, only five people are being honoured with this meritorious clasp. Jain is the only Islander.
“It’s an extreme honour,’’ Jain told The Guardian on Thursday. “I was totally taken away and surprised when I received the phone call last year.’’
Jain is also an emergency physician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, program director of the bachelor of science in paramedicine course at UPEI and medical director for paramedicine programs at Holland College.
The major is also a member of the 36th brigade, the reserve army that looks after P.E.I. and Nova Scotia. The soldiers in the brigade nominated him for the Order of Military Merit. The order is based on outstanding military service.
"(Lieut. General Paul Wynnyk) said, ‘I just wanted to let you know that you’re one of my top five and I’ve invested you into the Order of Military Merit.’ I was totally blown away. I was like, ‘Are you serious, are you serious, sir’? and he goes, ‘Oh, I’m rarely not serious’.’’
-Dr. Trevor Jain
Last year, Jain’s cellphone rang. He thought nothing of it. It was a lieutenant-colonel asking him to hold for the army commander, Lieut. General Paul Wynnyk.
“I went ‘I’m sorry, what’?’’ he laughed. “Then the army commander gets on there and goes, ‘Hey, Trevor, it’s Paul, how are you’? and I’m (thinking), sure I’m going to call you by your first name’. He said, ‘I just wanted to let you know that you’re one of my top five and I’ve invested you into the Order of Military Merit’.
“I was totally blown away. I was like, ‘Are you serious, are you serious, sir’? and he goes, ‘Oh, I’m rarely not serious’.’’
It didn’t really hit Jain until calls followed from a brigade commander, division commander and his commanding officer.
“To be nominated by your fellow soldiers and supported by senior leadership in Ottawa is an incredible honour.’’
It’s not the first time Jain has been decorated. He received the Meritorious Service Medal (military division) from the governor general in 1999 for his work following the Swissair crash off Nova Scotia.
Jain recently returned from a mission to Iraq as part of Op Impact, his fifth deployment, where he worked as a trauma team leader for nine weeks doing damage control resuscitation of special forces members that were continuing operations against ISIS.
“It was a really interesting mission . . . from an ortho-trauma perspective as well as a leadership perspective.’’
Like many soldiers who have seen action, Jain returned glad that he is from a peaceful country.
“It makes you thankful that we live in Canada. (Iraq is) a war-torn country with lots of different factions vying for different political and economic gain.’’