Support for MCPL (Ret'd) Collin Fitzgerald MMV,CD
Master Corporal Collin Ryan Fitzgerald, MMV, CD is a Canadian soldier who was among the first recipients of the Medal of Military Valour, a Canadian military decoration, in recognition of actions under enemy fire in Afghanistan. He was a member of the brotherhood “Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry”. The citation reads: “Master Corporal Collin Ryan Fitzgerald, M.M.V. Shilo, Manitoba, and Morrisburg, Ontario Medal of Military Valour. Master Corporal Fitzgerald deployed with 5 Platoon, B Company, 1 PPCLI Battle Group in Afghanistan. He is recognized for outstanding selfless and valiant actions carried out on May 24, 2006, during an ongoing enemy ambush involving intense, highly accurate enemy fire. Master Corporal Fitzgerald repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire by entering and re-entering a burning platoon vehicle and successfully driving it off the roadway, permitting the remaining vehicles trapped in the enemy zone to break free. Master Corporal Fitzgerald’s courageous and completely selfless and heroic actions were instrumental to his platoon's successful egress and undoubtedly contributed to saving the lives of his fellow platoon members”.
Collin is now facing a mountain of debt after fighting to clear his name over three criminal charges withdrawn by the Crown earlier this year. He is indebted $160,000 from legal bills related to a two-year court odyssey and an additional $40,000 in family court costs from a custody battle involving his daughter.
Fitzgerald, who suffers from PTSD, has had a tumultuous personal life since leaving the military, including stints in hospital. Originally from Morrisburg, Ont., Fitzgerald faced three separate sets of charges, including motor vehicle theft, harassment and intimidation of a police officer and breaching bail conditions, in relation to alleged incidents in 2012 and 2014. Each count was dropped by the Crown earlier this year in separate court proceedings. The last charge — intimidation of an Ontario Provincial Police officer — was withdrawn in late September, on the condition Fitzgerald agreed to a peace bond. Throughout more than two years of court proceedings, the former soldier, who maintained his innocence, was repeatedly offered plea deals by prosecutors. He refused each attempt and accused the Crown of turning a blind eye to information that exonerated him. According to the court record, prosecutors discovered that the former soldier's whereabouts did not match the OPP's allegations and witnesses. Despite the holes in the case, the Crown stuck with two charges of breaching bail conditions until last spring, when they were withdrawn.
Fitzgerald has reached a point in his recovery to understand and appreciate that life experiences happened For him, not To him in order to affect change. Wounded Warriors Canada is providing financial assistance to help Fitzgerald with housing options, getting him a place where he can visit with his daughter.
All donations received from this page will be donated directly to Collin in an effort to help him defray his legal costs.
Thanks to every Canadian for giving extraordinary support to Master Corporal (retired) Collin Fitzgerald MMV, CD