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Corporal (Ret'd) Raymond Goodchild

Corporal (Ret'd) Raymond Goodchild was born in Nipigon, Ontario. He's lived in Pawgwasheeng Pays Plat First Nation for the majority of his life. His sister served in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) which inspired Goodchild to enlist. He served in the CAF from 1979 to 1983 and supported the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus. Although Goodchild left the CAF in 1983, his service continues – in the form of providing support for his local community.

Nipigon, Ontario


Raymond Goodchild




  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Saskatchewan
  • New Brunswick


  • Cyprus: 1980

Goodchild arrived in Cyprus in 1980, and immediately began supporting the United Nations peacekeeping mission. He was stationed in there for six months and remembers a weird mix of feelings: fear coupled with a willingness to help in any way he could. "I was always ready to go, jump into action, whatever they needed… I was ready to do whatever, whenever."

While in Cyprus, Goodchild assisted at the "Green Line", a cease-fire line and buffer zone stretching across Cyprus, separating the portions of the island controlled by the Greeks and the Turks. United Nations peacekeeping forces patrolled the uneasy buffer zone. Gunfire regularly occurred, and Canadian peacekeepers were tasked with keeping the peace as much as possible.

Goodchild assisting with the United Nations peacekeeping mission, Cyprus 1980.

The peacekeeping operation in Cyprus has been ongoing since 1964, making it one of Canada's longest and best-known overseas military commitments. A large Canadian contingent served on the island from 1964 to 1993, and a small CAF presence still remains there today as United Nations peace efforts continue. In total, more than 25,000 CAF members have served in Cyprus over the decades.

28 of them gave their lives, paying the ultimate price in our country's efforts to help the people of that nation. The loss of Canadian lives in Cyprus demonstrates in the most profound way the dedication our military personnel have to their mission and to their country.

Upon returning to Canada, Goodchild continued to serve with the CAF on the home front. He participated in training operations across the country, and worked with some of our key allies, such as the United States and British forces in training exercises. One thing he vividly recalls is the magnitude and strength of both the United States and British military. "I'll always remember the size of the Allied ships and machinery," he says.

"I really enjoyed my service…The running, the jogging, singing songs, the comradery… the band of brothers. I miss it."

For his service, Goodchild was awarded the United Nations Force in Cyprus medal, the Canadian Peacekeeping Service medal, and a Canadian Aboriginal War Veterans medal. Goodchild reflects positively on his experience with the CAF. "I really enjoyed my service. I loved being in shape! The running, the jogging, singing songs, the comradery… the band of brothers. I miss it."

A sample of Goodchild's mementos from his time with the CAF, including his medals.

Upon leaving the CAF, Goodchild turned his efforts to providing support to his local community, Pawgwasheeng Pays Plat First Nation. He remembers meeting with an Elder shortly after he returned home. "I remember him asking me, 'How come a smart man like you is walking around with his hands in his pocket?'", Goodchild explains with a laugh. The Elder thought Goodchild would serve as a great mentor in his community, especially for youth - so he went to school and graduated with a diploma in social work. He's currently a Family Support Worker, and has worked in the social service field for 33 years. He is also active politically in his community, and served as Chief for two years. In 2008, he became a Councillor, a position he has held ever since.

Goodchild's role as a Family Support Worker includes sharing his story with local youth, assisting with prevention programs, facilitating workshops, crisis intervention, transporting community members to counselling sessions, and acting as an overall resource for community members to reach out to. "People in the community know that if they need a helping hand, I can be a support system. I'm an advocate for my community."

"I've served my country, and now it's time to serve my community. It's a different type of service."

It's clear that the word 'service' means a lot to Goodchild. "I've served my country, and now it's time to serve my community. It's a different type of service. As you get older, you become more sentimental, and feel more compassion… and really, that's what the world is about – peace and love. And taking care of those that are vulnerable. We can't forget about them."

National Peacekeepers’ Day was established in 2008. It provides an opportunity for Canadians to express the pride and respect they have towards personnel of the CAF, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and provincial and municipal police forces, as well as Canadian diplomats and civilians who have worked in support of internal peace and security operations.

With courage, integrity and loyalty, Raymond Goodchild has left his mark. He is one of our Canadian Veterans. Discover more stories.

If you a Veteran, family member or caregiver in need of mental health support, the VAC Assistance Service is available to you 24/7, 365 days a year at no cost. Call "1-800-268-7708 to speak to a mental health professional right now.

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