ANAVETS Shoulder to Shoulder

March 2017

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SHOULDER TO SHOULDER 23 demands of basic training and war because at the end of their careers they wanted to "do something meaningful." Most commonly, I met people hungry to see the world and effect positive change wherever they went. Soldiers and veterans come from every walk of life and every social class. I remain honoured to have served with every one of them. Despite leaving the Forces two years ago, there are parts of my military self I just can't seem to shed. I still iron shirts with sharp creases. I have a hard time walking past a Canadian flag without saluting it. I can't bear to part with my uniform, which still hangs dutifully in my closet. I imagine that 20 years from now I'll be just like my grandfather, slipping into the basement to see if it still fits. November 11 is a tough day for anyone who has been in the military or lost a loved one to war. My first Remembrance Day as a young veteran was full of mixed emotions, nervous jitters and repeated readjustment of my hat that kept slipping in the rain. But down at Vancouver's Victory Square, lined up with others just like me, I felt that sense of belonging all over again. No matter how small our role, each of us played a part in something bigger than ourselves. I'm proud to be a veteran, owl purse and all. (Editor's note: This article is reprinted with permission from The NYEE and the author Kelly Thompson, [www.kellysthompson.com]. Although this article originally appeared in 2013 it was felt to be relevant today. Kelly is a former officer in the Canadian Forces and is presently an award winning author and editor.) CANADIAN AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS PARTICIPATE IN VIMY RIDGE 100 TH ANNIVERSARY by Derek Walter B etween April 1 and 9 of this year a number of Canadian amateur radio operators and two French citizens will operate an amateur radio station located near the historic battleground of Vimy Ridge. They are participating in the 100th Anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge which many historians claim was the turning point of Canada as a colony to nationhood status. This Canadian success against the German held Ridge took place in April 1917 and has been noted as a turning point in the Great War which ended in 1918. In 1922 France recognized Canada's war effort and ceded 250 acres of the former battle site to Canada for a national memorial. Already amateurs across Canada have been participating in a Vimy promotion using the call sign VE100VIMY with an appendix attached indicating which province they were operating from. The author, VE3HRW, has already made contact with a VIMY station operating from Newfoundland as VE100VIMY/VO1. Vimy was also the base for wireless operations by the Canadian Corps of Signals following the fall of the ridge to the allies. This fact is important to radio amateurs across Canada. Each call sign area in Canada activated the special VIMY call sign for a week between January and March. From April 1 to 9 amateurs will operate around the clock from the battle site at Vimy, France. Already thousands of hams worldwide have been reached by Canadian VE100VIMY operators. Interestingly, it has been reported that at least 60 per cent of those contacted knew about this famous battle. Many Vets today are amateur radio operators, particularly those who belonged to the Signal and Communication branches of the Canadian Forces. If you would like more information on this special event log on to www.ve100vimy.ca Soldiers celebrate the 1917 victory at Vimy Ridge. (Canadian War Museum)

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