The Guardian Angel Platoon is the moniker of Canadian veteran, activist, and singer-songwriter Dennis MacKenzie. He released the self-titled album in 2021, right before Canada’s Remembrance Day.
The album is a conceptual work that chronologically charts MacKenzie’s journey as a soldier in Afghanistan. It deals with sobering topics such as PTSD, trauma during the war, and mistreatment afterward. It also discusses overlooked issues in connection with veterans.
MacKenzie spent nine years in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, where he saw
ten of his comrades in Afghanistan die.
Since returning home, MacKenzie has been a vocal advocate on veterans’ issues, such as mental health and the ongoing crises that confront veterans when they return home.
The album includes three letters that Mackenzie wrote about his personal military experiences. “Letter
3,” for example, highlights the sad reality that he has now lost more friends to suicide than during the war in Afghanistan. “Nobody talks about that.”
The album concludes with the title track, a poignant tribute to fallen soldiers “lost to the wars” or the “wounds that remain.” Either by “foreign hands or their own, each fated the same.”
Along with highlighting the grim realities of fighting in the war, it sheds a necessary spotlight on the
aftermath veterans experience after returning home.
Listen to ‘Guardian Angel Platoon’: