Health

The toll on a sniper’s brain

March 21, 2019 by Sharon Adams

The headaches, sleep problems, visual disturbances, balance problems, dizziness, ringing in the ears and memory lapses are symptoms familiar to troops who use explosives to gain access to military targets—or blow them up to eliminate the threat from bombs or improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They call it breachers’ brain, and it has been shown to be…

Military Milestones

Provisional government declared in Saskatchewan

March 20, 2019 by Legion Magazine

In the 1880s, the Canadian Prairies were a political powder keg. Bison herds were gone, land had been signed away in treaties and indigenous peoples were starving. The Métis wanted title to their homesteads and farms, whose boundaries were ignored by government and railway surveyors. After poor harvests in 1883 and 1884, farmers were desperate….

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Front Lines

Eight Cantleys and one Cantlie in the First World War

March 19, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne

Of 619,636 Canadians recruited during the First World War, there were 7,432 Smiths and 148 Smyths, 2,965 McDonalds and 1,646 MacDonalds, 2,342 Johnsons and 1,532 Johnstons. There were 1,797 Stewarts and 294 Stuarts, 1,220 McLeans and 310 MacLeans. There were just eight Cantleys and one Cantlie. According to their service records posted online by Library…

Military History

Songs from the patriotic heart

March 18, 2019 by Graham Chandler

 When he was a teenager in the early 1900s, Torontonian Gordon V. Thompson regularly sang gospel at his mother’s missionary meetings and dabbled in writing verse. Honing his creative talents and with the help of his brother’s print shop, by age 21 he had published 10 evangelical Life Songs, which he and his buddies…

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Dutch gratitude

March 16, 2019 by Doris Williams
Holland’s appreciation of Canada abounds as the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands approaches   The Netherlands was a neutral country when the Second World War broke out on Sept. 1, 1939, with Germany’s invasion of Poland. However, Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940, pulling the country into the war. By...

Washed ashore

March 15, 2019 by Sharon Adams
Somewhere off the coast of Florida on Feb. 25, 1958, Canadian navy pilot Lieutenant Barry Troy, 29, of Campbellton, N.B., was lost at sea. Troy was with No. 871 Squadron at HMCS Shearwater, then the naval aviation base in Nova Scotia. But he and three other pilots were flying McDonnell F2H Banshees from Naval...
Elegance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and highly subjective. One could ask the same question about scotch, wine or cars. And superlatives are dangerously inflexible words: terms like ‘most,’ ‘always’ and ‘forever’ should be avoided (especially in matters of the heart). Moreover, pilots (like sailors) are notoriously romantic; why else...

Women to support women on gruelling Arctic trek

March 13, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
As vice-president of training, learning and development at Mackenzie Investments, Libby McCready spends her days in meetings, on the phone, corralling e-mails and delivering presentations. If all goes as planned, in a month’s time she will be completing a 100-kilometre trek across Baffin Island in Nunavut with 24 other women, seven of them currently...

Canadian peacekeepers arrive in Cyprus

March 13, 2019 by Legion Magazine
The RCAF began delivering troops and supplies for the Canadian contingent of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus on March 13, 1964. No one expected the Canadian mission would end 29 years later, or that Canada would continue to have a presence on the Mediterranean island to this day. Trouble started almost immediately...

Long-term beds open up to more veterans

March 12, 2019 by Sharon Adams
Veterans Affairs Canada has widened eligibility for long-term care beds. Where once there were long wait lists for VAC contract beds, there are now vacancies due to the decline in number of Second World War and Korean War veterans. VAC has entered into agreements with 10 long-term care facilities, former veterans’ hospitals across the...

Vintage warbirds

March 9, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
At their most essential, they are wooden or tubular alloy skeletons wrapped in paper-thin fabric or sheet-metal skins—riveted tin cans powered by internal combustion engines, driven by propellers and flown on a wing and a prayer. Belching fire and smoke, coughing and kicking as if in protest at being awakened from slumber, they come to...

The golden days of peacekeeping have not returned

March 7, 2019 by David J. Bercuson
The Canadian contribution to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) officially began on Aug. 1, 2018. The mission consists of three Chinook helicopters equipped for medical evacuation as well as transport missions, five Griffon helicopters to fly escort for the bigger Chinooks and about 250 personnel to fly missions, provide...

I’ve got your back

March 6, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
There is an adage that is embraced by all the military, but especially the infantry: I’ve got your back. It’s fundamental to any successful endeavour against an enemy in battle. But who’s got your back when the battlefield is life and the enemy is yourself? “I think it’s even more significant now than when...

Chasing U-744

March 6, 2019 by Legion Magazine
It was a fat target for German U-boats: close to five dozen cargo ships laden with explosives, fuel and lumber for the war effort and life-sustaining food—grain, sugar, meat and frozen foods—which left Halifax on Feb. 22, 1944, bound for wartorn Britain. Escorting the convoy were HMS Icarus, a destroyer, HMCS St. Catharines and...

Schooling soldiers

March 3, 2019 by Legion Magazine
Canada, military service and education go hand-in-hand. Every phase of a soldier’s training represents some form of education, of course. But that training is designed to build a successful army. What about preparing soldiers to succeed as civilians? In 1916, Canadian soldiers fighting at the front and training in England began to ask for...

Free representation available to veterans

March 1, 2019 by Legion Magazine
Did you know service officers care and can help you, and it will cost you nothing? Yes, that is true, free of charge. The Royal Canadian Legion’s Veterans Services Network service officers can assist and represent still-serving Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, veterans, RCMP members and their families regarding disability claims or related issues...

Heroes and Villains: Doherty and Booth

March 1, 2019 by Mark Zuehlke
Born to Irish immigrants in Wickham, Canada East, on Sept. 26, 1838, Edward P. Doherty moved to New York City in 1860. When the American Civil War erupted the following April, he immediately enlisted in the Union Army as a private. Captured at the First Battle of Bull Run, Doherty managed a daring escape...
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