Vancouver family honours grandfather's military service
Posted: Nov 11, 2012 11:19 AM PT
Last Updated: Nov 11, 2012 11:18 AM PT
As thousands of Canadians across the country pay tribute to war veterans, one Vancouver family wants to make sure its military history is not forgotten.
"My grandfather Walter was in the Canadian Grenadier Guards in the First World War and he fought and was wounded several times in the famous battle of Passchendaele,” Dan Veniez told CBC News.
Veniez says his grandfather spoke openly about his war experiences.
"Mortar fire came and it — as grandpa described it, and I remember him being very tearful when he did -- he lost his seven friends who were in the trench with him,” Veniez said.
“He was the only one that made it out alive. He didn't think he would be alive."
Walter Veniez lost a piece of his right leg — but that didn’t stop him from trying to enlist when the Second World War broke out. He wasn't accepted but volunteered for home guard duty.
His son, Dan’s father, enlisted but never saw active service as the war ended the day before he was to ship out from Halifax.
Veniez says his grandfather battled alcoholism and depression before he died — legacies of what he endured in the war.
"In those days, mental health issues were not as understood and appreciated as they are today."
But Veniez says his grandfather’s stories are motivations for him and his teenage children to honour veterans of the past and present.
"Without me suggesting it, they wear their poppies,” Veniez said.
“They know what it means and they're not only proud of their heritage, but they're very proud of what it means to them and means to the country and means to what they even themselves say they take for granted today."With files from the CBC's Dan Burritt
Latest British Columbia News Headlines
- Residents allowed home after gas leak, fire in Mission
- Residents of about 20 homes in Mission, B.C., have been allowed to return after a gas leak and fire forced their evacuation. more »
- Alleged sex assault at grade school under investigation
- Police in Port Hardy, on Vancouver Island, are investigating the alleged sexual assault of a girl by other students on the grounds of an elementary school last month. more »
- Greyhound bus caught going twice the speed limit in B.C.
- A Greyhound bus has been impounded after the driver was caught driving more than twice the speed limit in a construction zone near Blue River, north of Kamloops, the Ministry of Transportation says. more »
- Cloverdale Rodeo 'racist attack' investigated
- Surrey RCMP are investigating an alleged racist assault on an animal rights protester outside the Cloverdale Rodeo this weekend that was posted on YouTube. more »
Top News Headlines
- Video forensics: How easy would it be to fake a Rob Ford video?
- Two media outlets reported last week that they had seen a cellphone video of Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack, a claim that has gone global. If a video does surface, how easy would it be to determine its authenticity? CBC News asked video forensic analyst David McKay. more »
- Tim Bosma memorial today in hall that hosted his wedding reception
- The widow of Tim Bosma, the Hamilton man killed after taking two strangers on a test drive in a truck he had listed for sale online, will say goodbye to her husband at a public memorial today in the same hall where they celebrated their marriage just three years ago. CBCNews.ca will livestream the event starting at 11 a.m. ET. more »
- Oklahoma residents begin to return home after deadly tornado
- Rescue workers raced to complete the search for survivors and the dead in the Oklahoma City suburb where a mammoth tornado destroyed countless homes, cleared lots down to bare red earth and claimed 24 lives, including those of nine children. more »
- Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart crack jokes about Rob Ford
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's woes over crack cocaine allegations are providing plenty of late-night TV fodder for Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart and other comedians south of the border. more »
- How the weather info that storm chasers use can keep you safe
- Radar imagery and a stream of weather information are readily available to the public when severe weather bears down. more »
- Cloverdale Rodeo 'racist attack' investigated
- Aboriginal woman settles lawsuit over 3½ years solitary confinement
- One dead as floatplane overturns in Bute Inlet
- B.C. mine's temporary foreign workers case dismissed
- B.C. teachers win fight over political posters in schools
- B.C. girl killed after 11-year-old crashes jeep
- Illegal tree cutting nets charges for arborist, homeowners
- Kamloops man skydives for 90th birthday
- Motorcyclist dead after head-on crash on Lions Gate Bridge