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Salute! - August 2022

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Commemoration

Remembering the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid

Image showing text DIEPPE 1942, over a photo of the stony beach at Dieppe, France, with Canadian Veteran photos and medals in the foreground.

80 years ago, on 19 August 1942, Canada suffered its bloodiest day of the Second World War. Almost 5,000 Canadians, alongside British and American allies, embarked on Operation Jubilee and attacked the French town of Dieppe.

By the end of the Dieppe Raid, only 2,210 Canadians returned to England, many of whom were wounded. More than 900 Canadians died, and roughly 1,950 became prisoners of war.

Our shared values of peace and freedom can come at a high price. The 80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid reminds us of that price. But the operation was not in vain. It offered invaluable lessons for future amphibious landings and Allied successes on the beaches of Normandy two years later. This year, the Juno Beach Centre’s special exhibit explores our evolving understanding of the raid, its links to D-Day and the eventual liberation of Dieppe in September 1944.

With the living memory of the Dieppe Raid quickly fading, we will continue to recognize and honour the extraordinary service and sacrifice witnessed 80 years ago, and keep the memory of Canada’s Second World War experience alive.

Do you know someone who served in the Dieppe Raid? Share your own connections on social media using #Dieppe80, and attend a commemorative ceremony near you!

Lest we forget.


National Peacekeepers' Day: August 9

Image of airplane from below, with Veterans.gc.ca and Canada identifiers.

Why is August 9 National Peacekeepers’ Day?

Canada has an enviable reputation around the world as being a nation willing to stand up in the cause of peace and freedom. More than 125,000 Canadians have served in peacekeeping missions all over the world in the past seven decades.

In 1974, nine Canadian peacekeepers onboard a United Nations-marked Canadian Armed Forces transport aircraft were killed when their plane was shot down by Syrian missiles during a regular resupply mission in the Middle East.

They were:

  • Captain George Foster
  • Corporal Morris Kennington
  • Master Warrant Officer Cyril Korejwo
  • Master Warrant Officer Gaston Landry
  • Captain Keith Mirau
  • Corporal Michael Simpson
  • Master Corporal Ronald Spencer
  • Corporal Bruce Stringer
  • Captain Robert Wicks

It was the greatest single-day loss of Canadian lives on a peacekeeping mission. Their tragic deaths remind us of the dangers peacekeepers face and the complexity of international peace missions.

August 9 was chosen as National Peacekeepers’ Day to honour them and all those who have served in peace support missions around the world.


Commemoration Calendar

Significant anniversaries occurring in August and September:

August 1:
creation of the North American Air Defence Command (NORAD), 1957
August 8:
Beginning of Battle of Amiens and start of Canada's Hundred Days, 1918
August 9:
National Peacekeepers' Day
August 13:
The Canadian Women's Army Corps is established, 1941
August 15:
VJ Day/End of the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific, 1945
August 19:
80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, 1942
August 25:
End of the Battle of Hill 70, 1917
September 3:
Merchant Navy Veterans Day and Beginning of the Battle of the Atlantic (1939)
September 18-19:
Battle of Britain (1940)
September 20:
Newfoundlanders land in Gallipoli (1915)
September 25:
Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day
September 26:
Beginning of Canadian participation in the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1999)

Veteran's story

A Veteran's memories with Canadian peacekeepers

Directly from the heart of David MacDonald

Reading the notice about National Peacekeepers’ Day in last year’s July 2021 edition of Salute! brought back many memories.

In the 1960s, I was a corporal and a loadmaster with the 2 Air Movements Unit (2 AMU) at CFB Trenton. As part of a 12-person crew, we loaded the CC 106 Yukon aircraft that often took peacekeepers to and from their six-month tours in Cyprus. Canada’s peacekeeping commitment there started in 1964 and lasted until 1993, though a smaller number of personnel are still there today.

I flew on the Yukons to Cyprus for four years, and was always impressed by the attitude and professionalism displayed by these peacekeepers.

A photo of an RCAF Yukon airplane on the tarmac, circa 1968.
An RCAF Yukon, circa 1968.
Cpl. David MacDonald in 1966, in RCAF uniform.
David MacDonald in 1966.

From about 1964 until the retirement of the Yukon, 437 (T) Squadron was tasked with rotating the troops from Cyprus on a monthly basis. The aircraft was configured with seven pallets of freight at the front, and 33 passenger seats and a galley at the rear.

If my memory serves me, the aircraft, complete with freight and passengers, would arrive from Canada at RCAF Station Marville, France, at about 8 a.m. After that base closed in 1967, the European operational base for transport aircraft became Lahr, West Germany. Another crew would have pre-positioned the previous Friday to take the aircraft to Cyprus.

The passengers were peacekeepers, about to start their six-month tours. They had a chance to stretch their legs while the planes were re-fueled and the crews changed. After their stops, they’d re-board and carry on to Nicosia, Cyprus.

On the six-hour leg of the trip to Cyprus, I could talk with many of the peacekeepers. Some were apprehensive about what would happen over the coming six months. They had been briefed by their respective units, but a number of questions remained. Their briefing included the fact that the two sides, the Greeks and the Cypriots, had had their ups and downs and some periods would be more active than others. Typical of the Canadian Army, most of the peacekeepers I had time to chat with felt that they could handle whatever came their way. No matter who I talked to, there seemed to be a willingness to respect the situation and do whatever was necessary to keep the peace.

After landing in Nicosia, we would unload both freight and passengers, and reload with much less cargo along with a fresh group of peacekeepers returning to Canada after their six-month tour. This group would be full of energy and excited about returning home. Talking with them was altogether different from talking with the outbound group. They were much more relaxed and displayed an aura of achievement. Their outline of the overall conflict picture had not changed much, but almost every one of them spoke of personal achievement. Many of these achievements involved children and how the peacekeeper had made a difference in a child’s life.

IA photo of Dave MacDonald in life after service.
Dave MacDonald in 2019.

I thoroughly enjoyed my military career and had some personal achievements of my own, but nothing that can compare to the outstanding job of our Canadian peacekeepers.

Directly from the heart.

Dave MacDonald

David MacDonald joined the RCAF in 1961 and was based at CFB Trenton until 1972. Promoted to sergeant in 1971, he also served at CDLS London, and CFB Ottawa in 1980 and 1981. He released in September 1981 as a sergeant.

Do you have memories to share or a story to tell about your life in service, or that will interest Veterans and their families? Long or short, send it in to Salute! for consideration for a future issue.


Programs and services

VAC Assistance Service online chat

If you’re dealing with issues that affect your well-being, support is available. Veterans and their families can receive free, confidential, short-term psychological support with a local mental health professional through the VAC Assistance Service. Sessions are available in person (depending on public health restrictions in your area), or may be offered by phone, video via e-counselling.

You can contact the VAC Assistance Service for a referral to a mental health professional by:

  • calling 1-800-268-7708 (TDD/TTY: 1-800-567-5803), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • using the online chat on Health Canada’s Employee Assistance Program web page (select current/former RCMP or CAF, then Veterans Affairs Canada, password: canada), Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, except statutory holidays.

Please note: the chat feature is not for immediate counselling. If you need immediate support, call the number above.


New videos on the LifeSpeak platform

LifeSpeak often adds new expert-led short videos on many health and wellness topics. One recent series focuses on men’s mental health. Log in today at veterans.lifespeak.com, Access ID: canada

You can also download the free LifeSpeak app on Google Play or the App Store.
Client ID: veterans
Access ID: canada


Funding available for recognizing Canadian Veterans in your community

Photo of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadian Veterans at a ceremony.

With equality at the forefront, Veterans Affairs Canada wants to help recognize Canadian Veterans from all walks of life.

If you have a project celebrating an underrepresented group of Veterans, you may be eligible for Community Engagement funding through the Commemorative Partnership Program.

Whether it be a ceremony honouring Indigenous Veterans in your community, or an exhibit commemorating Canada’s diverse military background, VAC can help make it a reality!

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until 1 November 2022. Projects must be completed this fiscal year, before 31 March 2023.

For more information, please visit the Commemorative Partnership Program page on our website or contact the CPP team at mailto:cpp-ppc@veterans.gc.ca.


Engagement

What you told us about shaping the future of remembrance in Canada

CA close-up focusing on the poppies being worn on the lapels of members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces stand at attention at the Remembrance Day ceremony held at Beechwood National Military Cemetery in Ottawa, Ontario on 11 November 2019.

In 2021, more than 1,800 Canadians, including Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, police officers and their families, shared their thoughts on how to evolve remembrance programming.

VAC wanted to hear how to best recognize and remember those who have served Canada in uniform. So we turned to the best source: Canadians.

A number of themes emerged in what we heard:

  • Highlight diversity and commonalities in service in a balanced way
  • Expand the scope of remembrance by continued recognition of Veterans of the World Wars and Korean War and put more emphasis on post-war conflicts, operations and service
  • Engage Canadians in remembrance through:
    • personal and compelling Veteran stories and interactive digital experiences
    • more interactions between Veterans and youth
    • greater collaboration with stakeholders, schools and organizations such as museums.

You can read the consultation summary and full report at Let’s Talk Veterans.

Using this feedback, we are refining the objectives, goals and deliverables to finalize the draft 2020–2030 strategic plan for commemoration.

Canada remembers.


33 more voices advise the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Have you ever wondered how Veterans Affairs Canada consults on issues of importance to Veterans? One way is through six Ministerial Advisory Groups.

These groups bring together Canadians who are passionate about supporting Veterans and their families. They provide a space where members can share their input and perspective with Veterans Affairs Canada. Each group focuses on a different area: policy, service excellence and transition, mental health, families, care and support and commemoration.

Recently, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, announced that 33 new members have been added across the six groups, joining the 43 existing members.

Find out more about Ministerial Advisory Groups.


National Association of Federal Retirees advocates for you

Logo of the National Association of Federal Retirees, resembling people united and a maple leaf.

Did you know that serving in the CAF or RCMP makes you eligible to join the National Association of Federal Retirees.

Federal Retirees is the largest national advocacy group, representing active and retired members of the federal public service, CAF, RCMP and retired federally appointed judges, as well as their partners and survivors. Approximately 60,000 of its nearly 170,000 members are current or retired CAF, RCMP and family members. You don’t have to be retired to join.

While not strictly a Veterans’ organization, Veteran well-being is one of the organization’s top advocacy priorities, along with pharmacare, their national seniors strategy, and retirement income security. In 2017, Federal Retirees developed a Veterans outreach initiative to listen to Veterans and better understand what is, and isn’t working for them as they transition to post-service life. You can learn more about how they’re supporting Veteran well-being on their website.

Members of the National Association of Federal Retirees are connected to a community of like-minded people across the country. Membership provides access to savings on products and services related to health, travel, finances, technology, and home/auto insurance. The association’s travel insurance plan is one of its most popular benefits, and works hand-in-hand with the Public Service Health Care Plan to give members access to better-than-market rates. Veterans who are members also get free baggage allowance with participating airlines.

You can also learn more about the benefits of becoming a member on their website.


Do you know other Veterans, family members or others who would benefit from the information in this newsletter? Feel free to share it with them.


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