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Master Warrant Officer (MWO) (Retired) Barry Westholm, CD joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1982 as a member of the (RCEME).

He remained with RCEME until 2009 when he applied for, and was accepted to, a senior position within the newly formed (JPSU) as the Regional MWO and of JPSU Eastern Ontario Region. The JPSU was designed to be the ’s response to a requirement for consolidated support for ill and injured members and their families while serving, transitioning or released (veterans).

As a founding member of the JPSU, bore witness to the JPSU’s development from inception in 2009 to 2013 as the Regional MWO/ of the JPSU’s most populous Region, one supporting 500 personnel over an area of 5000 sq/km. As the initial inadequacies of the JPSU became apparent, and new challenges appeared on the horizon, provided a strong voice to take early corrective measures, however by 2013, the JPSU had descended to a point where control of the unit and proper support of the injured and ill posted to the JPSU became impossible.

In February 2013, resigned in protest from the to bring to a tragedy developing in the JPSU. This tragedy was regarding the JPSUs increasing inability to provide satisfactory support to injured and ill members and their families.

From 2013 until the present time, MWO (ret’d) Westholm petitioned the , the Ombudsman, Members of Parliament, the Canadian Senate, media and others in an attempt to bring and assistance to the JPSU and the persons it was meant to support.

In his role as an advocate, MWO (ret’d) Westholm uses his military training and experience to provide one-on-one counselling, support and guidance to serving and released military members and their families. He often liaises between injured members, and larger organizations (such as Veterans’s Affairs Canada (VAC), the and various Provincial Institutions) and most recently as a witness on the Standing Committee for Veterans Affairs.

MWO (ret’d) Westholm accumulated a diverse range of technological, field, deployment, leadership and operational experience – he deployed on several missions to include:

NATO (W-Germany) 1987- 91.
United Nations, Operation Marquis (Cambodia) 1992.
United Nations, (Haiti) 1995.
Disaster Assistance Response Team, Operation Central () 1998.
Aid to Civilian Powers, Operation Recuperation (Ontario) 1998.
Canadian/New Zealand Military Exchange – CANZEX (New Zealand) 1999.
United Nations, Operation Danaca (Syria) 2006.

He also had an equally diverse postings to include:

RCEME (Land) – Field: 4 Combat Engineer Regiment.
RCEME (Land) – : 2 Service Battalion.
RCEME (Combat) – Airborne: Canadian Airborne Regiment.
RCEME (Air) – Air Force: 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.
RCEME (Strategic) – NORAD: CFB North Bay.
CMP (Casualty Support) – JPSU: Garrison Petawawa.

In 2012 MWO (ret’d) Westholm received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work with Soldier On, a organization promoting recovery through specialized sports for ill and injured soldiers, sailors, airmen and women.


  1. Barry has said it all. These magnificently trained soldiers are lost to the economy. Put any soldier in City Hall and watch how efficiency would improve. As to the families being prepared, spouses have complained that the psychologists or social workers they consult with do not, in general have an understanding of PTS to the point where they can offer useful suggestions as to how family might be better able to accommodate the returning veteran, simple things like not making huge sudden noises! all very well to say the vet must adjust, but they need a little time!