‘I didn’t want to face my lie’: Man comes clean about false claims of serving in Canadian Armed Forces
, 2023-01-30 04:04:28,
A man who appeared on a New Hamburg Legion banner honoring Canadian veterans on Remembrance Day has admitted to lying about serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Gigage Wahya previously told the New Hamburg Independent in articles published after Indigenous Veterans Day in 2022 that he served in the military for nearly five years, including his deployment during the war in Afghanistan.
Shortly after the articles were published, The Independent spoke to several people who claimed that Wahya had never served in the Canadian Armed Forces.
The Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces confirmed this information and the website articles have since been removed.
After weeks of communication by phone, email and text messages trying to speak to Wahya about the allegations, Wahya confessed to the Independent via text message on January 23 that she was not telling the truth.
He said he had a friend in 2014 who nicknamed him Corporal, and he took the name and began to identify himself as ex-military. In 2022, he continued to identify himself as a veteran and volunteered to hold a flag during a powwow in Kitchener.
Last year, the New Hamburg branch of the Royal Canadian Legion launched a banner program to honor veterans. Eager to recognize indigenous veterans, former Wilmot Town Councilwoman Angie Hallman proposed the name Wahya after she shared personal stories of her service.
“All of my information is stories that he has shared with me in confidence,” Hallman said,…
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