Month: April 2018

Blooming dandelions: Taking strength from adversity
Front Lines

Blooming dandelions: Taking strength from adversity

Researcher Sarah Dentry-Travis made an interesting discovery while on two polar treks alongside some of Canada’s wounded warriors: great adversity can bring out the best in the most unexpected people. “You have people who have PTSD, who have extreme physical injuries, and people talk about them as being ‘broken’ soldiers,” says Dentry-Travis, a post-doctoral research psychologist at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. “But these people are doing things that most people can’t or won’t do. They’re climbing to the top of a mountain in Antarctica. They’re skiing to the North Pole. They’re not broken at all. They’re able to do more than other people are able to do because they see that they’ve been able to overcome adversity.” Polar environs notwithstanding, she likens them to dandeli...
High-tech exhibit brings War of 1812 brig to life
Front Lines

High-tech exhibit brings War of 1812 brig to life

Back in 2001, marine archeologist Ken Cassavoy got an intriguing phone call from a friend and colleague who had just been for a stroll along Southampton Beach on Lake Huron. Duncan McCallum had stumbled upon the blackened ribs of what turned out to be a War of 1812 shipwreck emerging from exposed sand near the town of Southampton, Ont., 190 kilometres north of London. As Cassavoy came to discover, McCallum had found the remains of HMS General Hunter, a 10-gun brigantine captured by the Americans during the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813. “It was obvious to us immediately that there was a substantial part of the ship under the sand,” Cassavoy recalled in an interview with Legion Magazine. “We decided we’d go ahead and do something with it.” As project director, he co-ordi...
Some parts may be missing
Humour Hunt

Some parts may be missing

– Illustration by Malcolm Jones – I’ve noted before in these missives, I have no real experience in the Canadian Armed Forces—for which Canadians should be thankful—beyond a couple of indirect connections.  First, for three years as part of my day job, I provided media training services to the Department of National Defence. Despite being a civilian, I trained CAF members across the military spectrum from chaplains and generals to the Snowbirds aerobatic team and the Skyhawks parachute team. It was fascinating. Second, my father-in-law, retired major Bill Naylor, enjoyed a long career in the air force, first flying fighters and then navigating on multi-engine aircraft. His younger brother Gary also served his entire career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Over the years, they’ve bot...
Are you a veteran with dual entitlement?
Serving You

Are you a veteran with dual entitlement?

A veteran with dual entitlement is someone who has been (or may be) granted disability entitlement under both the Pension Act and the New Veterans Charter (NVC). The combined disability pension and disability award(s) paid to veterans with dual entitlement cannot exceed 100 per cent of the disability evaluation. For some veterans, it may be more beneficial to receive decisions on claims under the Pension Act before proceeding with claims under the NVC, or vice-versa. While each case is unique, veterans should consider some factors before proceeding with a new disability benefits application or a reassessment. These factors include whether or not you have a dependant to whom a survivor’s pension may be payable. If so, have you reached 48 per cent disability pension? How long since your ...
Know your enemy: Meet the crew of U-210
Front Lines

Know your enemy: Meet the crew of U-210

The senior surviving officer from U-210, a German U-boat sunk by HMCS Assiniboine in 1942, was despised by crewmates and Allied interrogators alike, a “fanatical Nazi” whose hubris quickly evaporated in a storm of fear and protest the moment his pasty epidermis hit the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Leutnant zur See Günther Göhlich was just 22 years old but despite his youth—perhaps because of it—he was, according to his Canadian and American interrogators, “arrogant and conceited.” He was the boat’s executive officer. “He had all the makings of a youthful martinet and was most un-popular on board,” said an October 1942 report by the U.S. Navy. “It was stated that he lost his head during the sinking and that an engine-room petty officer stood behind him with a heavy wrench, intent...
Berton’s correspondent
O Canada

Berton’s correspondent

Lester Giffin was a private with the 85th Battalion at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. In the years after that momentous battle, he felt its importance hadn’t been recognized by the general public, and in 1982, at the age of 89, he decided to remedy this by writing about Vimy himself. Typing with one finger, he wrote about how the Cape Breton coal miners and Ontario gold miners had been given the job of digging tunnels, and he wrote of the extraordinary firepower that was unleashed on that morning of April 9: “I was awakened by a heavy explosion and the ground shook like there was an earthquake. The earth and the sky met in one continual flame as guns poured thousands of shells into the German lines. “In no man’s land was a knoll called the Pimple and that is where the tunnellers h...

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