Month: December 2013

Memoirs

My Sergeant Pilot

Exclusive Audio Version As I approach my eighth decade, I think of him as my Sergeant Pilot. I know he neither is nor was any more mine than the moon or stars, yet there is something so profoundly personal in the fact that he wished the best for me. And all things considered, my life has been one that I would not exchange for any other. If that is not the best, what is? In 1942, World War II was in its third year and Quebec City was alive with a variety of young men in uniform. They would come to the city on leave from army, navy or air force bases and would crowd into YMCA dances, stroll on downtown streets, attend churches and be invited into homes. My friend Audrey and I were two Quebec high school seniors about the graduate. Doug Simmons and Bill Heaton were air force, Roy...
Memoirs

Adrift With Death

  Exclusive Audio Version I jumped over the ship's starboard rail into the Atlantic shortly after the second torpedo hit. I say the Atlantic, but by then we had probably reached the outer limits of the Bay of Biscay, roughly 300 miles off the French coast. It was around 7:30 p.m., St. Patrick's Day, 1945, and pretty well everyone was in the water when the wind began to pick up. I was one of 42 crew members swarming around one Carley float designed to carry 12. By the time we were rescued the next afternoon--19 hours later--six of us from that float were alive. * * * His Majesty's Canadian Ship Guysborough, pendant number J52, was a Bangor class minesweeper. Built at Vancouver and commissioned on April 22, 1942, she had eight officers and a crew of 83. Size wise, she w...
The Veterans' Hotwash

What, in your view, is preventing the treatment of veterans with PTSD in Canada?

  The question is: What, in your view, is preventing the treatment of veterans with PTSD in Canada?  Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Linford, author of the new book Warrior Rising: A Soldier’s Journey To PTSD And Back, leads off with what we hope will be a meaningful, online discussion, involving other veterans, their families, health care professionals and those conducting research on the topic. Here’s what Chris Linford had to say: “This is the million-dollar question as the government and Canadians at large thirst for an understanding of PTSD, and try to answer what is the right level of support needed for injured Canadian veterans. “The fact remains that it is often the veteran who is the major barrier to accessing clinical treatment! “From a personal perspecti...
On This Date: December 2013
Military History, On This Date

On This Date: December 2013

DECEMBER 1, 1919 The Memorial Cross, more widely known as the Silver Cross, is instituted. DECEMBER 2, 1946 His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Middlesex, en route to help a fishing vessel, runs aground on Shut-in Island near Halifax. The crew escapes unharmed. DECEMBER 3, 1970 British Trade Commissioner James Cross, held hostage for 60 days, is freed in exchange for free passage to Cuba for five Front de Libération du Québec captors. DECEMBER 4, 1943 The 2nd Canadian Brigade joins British, Indian and New Zealand troops in an attack on heavily defended German positions along the Moro River, Italy, in the first of 10 days of battle. DECEMBER 5, 1942 The Toronto Royal Canadian Air Force Hurricanes defeat the Winnipeg RCAF Bombers 8-5 in the first non-civilian Grey Cup at...

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