Our Freedom

This year's Remembrance vignette, Our Freedom, is featured in our digital and online Remembrance Advertising campaign. It supports the Department's mandate to promote recognition and remembrance of the achievements and sacrifices of those who served Canada in times of war, military conflict and peace.

Here is a look behind the scenes of the people featured in the Our Freedom vignette.

Captain (retired) Mark Johnson CD

Captain (retired) Mark Johnson, CD served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 25 years. He was stationed across Canada with units like the 2nd Battalion, Black Watch and the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. Captain Johnson was also deployed overseas as a peacekeeper in Cyprus, as well as with NATO forces in West Germany where he served under 3rd Canadian Mechanized Commando and the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. After his retirement from the Regular Forces, he remained involved in the Reserves and Cadet units.

Captain (retired) Mark Johnson CD

Sergeant (retired) Nelly Michaud

Sergeant (retired) Nelly Michaud joined the Canadian Armed Forces at the age of 18. She served for more than 17 years with postings in Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Bagotville, CFB Petawawa and CFB Trenton and overseas deployments which included Bosnia, Afghanistan and Haiti.

Sergeant (Sgt) Nelly Michaud (retired)

Master Seaman (retired) Alain Gravel

Master (retired) Seaman Alain Gravel was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for 20 years and was posted to the HMCS Algonquin. He served many tours at sea and had the opportunity to explore the world before deciding on a career change. He re-mustered to the Canadian Military Police which took him to CFB Cornwallis and CFB Halifax and on overseas tours to Cyprus and East Timor.

Master Seaman (MS) Alain Gravel (retired)

Commander (Retired) Alex Grant

Commander (Retired) Alex Grant

Alex Grant, raised in Pincourt, Quebec, enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1981. He attended Royal Roads Military College, graduating in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Oceanography. Following Navy training, he completed a two-year foreign posting at the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System’s (IUSS) Naval Facility Whidbey Island, Washington.

Alex went back to school to complete a Master of Science in Oceanography and Acoustics. The next three years were spent supporting Royal Canadian Navy and NATO exercises and operations as a tactical oceanographer. He spent a lot of time at sea in various warfare positions including deployments to the Persian Gulf and peace keeping operations in the Sea of Japan.

In 2000, he took command of NCSM DONNACONA, Montreal’s Naval Reserve Division. In July 2004, Alex was selected to attend the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island earning a diploma in National Security, Strategy and Policy, and Joint Military Operations. Alex then returned to Halifax as HMCS ATHABASKAN’s Executive Officer deploying for hurricane Katrina relief operations and a NATO deployment. In 2007, he was appointed as Commanding Officer HMCS TORONTO, deploying on the NATO exercise NOBLE MARINER and two arctic sovereignty patrols (Operation NANOOK).

Alex retired from the Regular Force in 2010, but continues to serve on a part-time basis as a Captain(N) in the Naval Reserve.

Corporal (Retired) Pedro Ibaceta-Carter

Corporal (Retired) Pedro Ibaceta-Carter, born in Chile, served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Reservist for 13 years with the 34th Service Battalion of Canada. He joined the Regular Forces as a supply technician. Corporal (Retired) Ibaceta-Carter proudly served in Nunavut and four tours to Afghanistan.

During his service he was injured which ended his military career. His injuries did not slow him down. After his medical release, he continued to serve his country with honour, representing Canada at the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia.

"Today, I am busy with my family. I have four children and an extraordinary wife who keep me alive," says Corporal(Retired) Ibaceta-Carter.

Corporal (Retired) Pedro Ibaceta-Carter

Alexa Dubé

Alexa Dubé, a former leading seaman, released from the Royal Canadian Navy after serving as a Reservist for 10 years. She left high school at the age of 15 after dealing with a number of family issues. Following a year of isolating herself and not going to school, Alexa decided to take charge of her responsibilities and started to train physically so she could join the Canadian Armed Forces. The summer she turned 16, she completed her training at CFB Borden. This commitment gave her the mental strength and energy to return to school and complete secondary school through an adult education program. Working with the Canadian Armed Forces allowed her to learn a lot about herself, develop positive leadership skills and gain a variety of other skills on a personal level. Alexa now has a Master's degree in Psychoeducation, and she is an actress.

Alexa Dubé

Jackee Jing

Jackee's father came to Canada from China as refugee. After being separated from her father for four years, Jackee came to Canada. She is grateful to get to live a different life than the early days her father had in China.

Jackee Jing

Philippe Laurin

A trip to Spain with friends gave Philippe a disheartening firsthand view of refugees fleeing from Syria. When the Canadian government announced it would be welcoming more Syrian refugees to Canada, Philippe volunteered to help. As a volunteer along side the Canadian Red Cross, he worked with children who didn't know where they were, but knew they were safe.

Philippe Laurin

Aliona Munteanu

Aliona was born in Moldova and she lived through the conflict in Transnistria which affected the entire country. She left Moldova, first for Romania and then to Canada. She says she can now sleep during the night without fear. When she was young, Aliona says she didn't know if she was Moldovian, Romanian or Russian. Now, she knows she is a Canadian.

Aliona Munteanu

Amy Trefry

From the time she was young, Amy's parents, both wildlife biologists, engrained in her an understanding and respect for the relationship and impact humans have on the natural world. Through her academic studies and work in climate change and food security, both in Canada and overseas, she has been an advocate for vulnerable communities impacted by these global changes. Amy believes that it is each of our responsibility to reach out to those around us, to speak up for those who are not heard through whatever means we have, and that through collective care for one another change can happen.

Amy Trefry

Izad Etemadi

Izad's family left Iran for a refugee camp in Germany, where Izad was born. They became friends with the Canadian Armed Forces members stationed in Germany. When those CAF members returned to Canada, they had their church sponsor Izad's family's immigration to Canada. He is constantly reminded of what life would be like if his family were still in Iran. He feels lucky and grateful to be living and working in Canada.

Izad Etemadi
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