Month: November 2017

The Cinderella campaign
Army, Military History

The Cinderella campaign

In the lead-up to Operation Market Garden—the Allied military operation to encircle Germany’s industrial Ruhr district in September 1944—British Army Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force General Dwight D. Eisenhower took a calculated risk and assigned First Canadian Army to open the North Sea port of Antwerp, Belgium, to Allied shipping. But the operation would not be possible until France’s Channel ports were won. First Canadian Army crossed the Seine on Aug. 30, 1944, to begin opening the French ports. The far larger harbour of Antwerp was won by the British on Sept. 4, but German control of the 80-kilometre-long Scheldt estuary denied the Allies its use. By Sept. 4, II Canadian Corps and I British Corps had isolated the northern Fren...
Serving You

Mental health counselling available

What is the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Assistance Service? The VAC Assistance Service is a counselling and referral service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a toll-free number to veterans, former RCMP members, their families and caregivers. The VAC Assistance Service is a voluntary and confidential service delivered through a nationwide team of mental health professionals. When you phone, you will speak to a mental health professional who will ask you questions to determine your needs and your location, and then match you up with a local mental health professional for face-to-face counselling. There is no cost for the services provided. What types of counselling are available? The VAC Assistance Service can provide up to 20 sessions of counselling in a number of ...
B.C. branches aid in wildfire relief
News

B.C. branches aid in wildfire relief

Legion branches across British Columbia were out in full force to aid those affected by the wildfires that spread through the province this summer. In a letter to branches in July, Sandy Reiser, executive director of British Columbia/Yukon Command, sent out a call for help: “We do not know how long this state of emergency will last. However, the Legion should be prepared to render assistance for at least several weeks.” Reiser added that poppy funds could be used to contribute to wildfire relief efforts, as a Special Use Expenditure in accordance with the poppy manual. Branches unable to hold a general meeting to approve the expenditure of poppy funds “might consider holding a fundraiser with the explicit goal of helping those displaced by the wildfires.” “Our command so far has raised...
Canadian veterans’ graves marked in California
News

Canadian veterans’ graves marked in California

Strolling through the Inglewood Park Cemetery, east of Los Angeles, in 2003, Charles Brechin, then the president of California Branch of The Royal Canadian Legion in Vista, California, struck up a conversation with a cemetery groundskeeper. He was told that “about six” Canadian veterans were buried nearby in unmarked graves. Brechin asked for a list of veterans in unmarked graves, but the cemetery administration was unable to provide one. Then in 2009, Western U.S. Zone Secretary Douglas Lock, at Brechin’s request, renewed the challenge of securing the list. Lock was determined to get the task completed and soon a cemetery employee, Joan Francis, was assigned and the search for names began. By the following year, a list of 202 names was available. Further investigation by Legion member...
Community outreach and a rate increase
News

Community outreach and a rate increase

Unexpectedly clear blue skies greeted delegates at the 65th Newfoundland and Labrador Command Convention in Stephenville on Aug. 26-30. Proceedings got underway on a sunny Sunday afternoon with a parade from Blanche Brooke Park to the cenotaph. A remembrance ceremony followed, with wreaths placed by Lieutenant-Governor Frank Fagan, Silver Cross Mother Agnes Gillam Bishop, member of Parliament Gudie Hutchings, provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment Eddie Joyce, Newfoundland and Labrador Command President Frank Sullivan, Dominion First Vice Tom Irvine and other officials. The convention took place at Stephenville Branch, formerly the officers’ mess of Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, which the United States Air Force operated here from 1941 to 1966. In the opening ceremon...
Canada introduces a new era in peacekeeping
Front Lines

Canada introduces a new era in peacekeeping

The federal government unveiled its new peacekeeping policy on Nov. 15, more than a year after it declared it would provide the United Nations with up to 600 troops and 150 police officers. Now, after almost two years of review, during which confusion and frustration mounted at the UN and among contributors looking for relief, Ottawa announced a comprehensive plan it says will set a standard for a new era of peacekeeping. At the core of the new plan is a 200-member quick-reaction force poised to deploy on short notice. When that force might be ready to go, and where, is anyone’s guess. But the government says it is not backing away from its earlier promises. “The impact of the announcements we’re making today will be much larger than the still-significant commitment of 600 Canadia...

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