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Service not just overseas

Barrie Advance

11 November 2009

This time of the
year, our thoughts turn to our military veterans; those brave men and
women who have donned the uniform of Canada. We particularly honour
those who served overseas, in combat zones or on peacekeeping tours, but
any person who has honorably served in the Canadian Forces deserves the
thanks of the nation too.

However, there is a forgotten group
that also deserves the thanks of the nation: those civilians who served
on the home-front holding down important jobs. Using WWII as an example,
there were many who did not serve in the military, but they can hardly
be accused of “not doing their part”. It is easy to forget that not
everyone was, and still are, needed in the military. Even during the
darkest days of WWII, we still needed police officers patrolling our
streets, firefighters protecting our cities and towns, prison guards
working in our prisons, teachers working in our schools and doctors
working in hospitals. We still needed farmers and factory workers,
particularly those working in defence production facilities. We still
needed workers running our banks, radio stations and newspapers. We
still needed truck drivers, railroad workers, hydro workers and
construction workers. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
Just because a country is at war, doesn’t mean it comes to a complete

I personally know a man who tried to join the army
during WWII, but since he was a farmer, was told that he was needed on
the farm instead. This man is not considered a veteran, but his job
tending to livestock and crops was very important to the war effort.
Now undeniably there were people who used these and other jobs as a
reason to avoid serving in uniform, but it is equally undeniable that someone
had to do these jobs.

Those who served, and continue to serve
in uniform, deserve the recognition and appreciation from all Canadians
that they receive.¬† I’m certainly not attempting to diminish what they
did, especially those who served and died on the front lines. All I ask
is that we remember those who did their part for their country, but
don’t have the medals to prove it.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/service-not-just-overseas/

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