I was born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised within the Catholic Faith and School System. I attended Our Lady of Victories Elementary School, St. Rose Junior High, Archbishop MacDonald High School & University of Alberta. Obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental and Conservation Sciences with a Major in Wildlife and Rangeland Conservation and Management. Degree in Sciences pursued both for topic; I interested in the environment and issues within; and for degree area (Sciences); I took Sciences in order to be able to apply for an opportunity to become a Canadian Forces Pilot. I currently employed as an Inspector of Explosives for Natural Resources Canada. In free time I prefer to travel and engage in adrenaline sports depending on the season and then relax.
I joined the Canadian Forces Reserve 8 Field Engineer Regiment based in Edmonton (now 41 Combat Engineer Regiment) in June of 1997 just out of High School and attended Basic Training that summer in Lethbridge, Alberta and then initial Engineer Trade Training (QL 3) that summer in Chilliwack, British Columbia. I had originally wanted to join in a full time capacity however my parents convinced me that I could get the best of two worlds (university and military) if I pursued work with the Reserves. My reasons for joining were many, but the best description would be following childhood dreams. I left the military after serving on Operation Athena / Archer in 05/06 with Defense and Security Platoon #2. The highest rank I achieved was Corporal. I did have a few opportunities to lead sections in training, and I ran a section of twenty people during Operation Peregrine (Kelowna Fires). Our fire crew in Operation Peregrine was provided a Letter of Appreciation and a Certificate of Service for Operation Peregrine.
The injury I sustained was memorable for different reasons, of course. During my initial summer training in Chilliwack in 1997 I sustained stab wounds to chest and leg as well as concussion to head at the Vettor Rd. Mohawk gas station in Chilliwack, British Columbia. The gas station where this occurred is located about a ten minute walk from front entry to the Canadian Forces Base in Chilliwack, BC. This occurred on a Sunday evening around 9pm. My fire team partner and I snuck off base to get money from the ATM near the gas station to be able to pay for the pizza we had ordered from the pay phone by the ablutions building. I went to grab slushies from the gas station while he ran back to catch the pizza guy. Walking up to the entry to the gas station I bumped into a guy running out of the store. I turned and asked him, "What, no excuse me?" he had a pen knife out so I asked if he was going to stab me with it and he did. In the scuffle I was also beer bottled in the head from some of the people he was with. Apparently he had just robbed the place as well. They caught him a week later when he went to stab a bouncer at one of the clubs. A few days prior he had stabbed a friend of his. Lesson learned on that one - not to leave my fire team partner.
To bring awareness to Veterans and to your and others efforts to continue to highlight Veterans issues. I know many Active and Retired Veterans and unfortunately know some not with us who suffer from illnesses such as PTSD and from injuries sustained in the line of duty both in and out of theatre. These are the recent veterans and not the retired ones many Canadians associate with on Remembrance Day. The young looking ones who appear healthy but inside are fighting bravely.
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