Comrade Ron’s mother wanted him to pursue opportunities outside Orillia and suggested that he consider the Armed Forces. When Comrade Ron enlisted, two opportunities were open: one at Camp Borden and one at Currie Barracks (Black Watch) in Calgary, Alberta. He was assigned to Currie Barracks in Calgary where he served as a rifleman, regular army, 2nd Battalion, Queen’s Own Rifle from 1961 to 1964.
Comrade Ron recalls that at age nineteen, he did not know what to expect but “we had clothing and adequate food.” He quickly learned to look after himself and was impressed by the high degree of behaviour and discipline expected from each recruit. Initially, Private Ron was not enamoured with the strict rules of staying on base during basic training. His three-storey barrack accommodations were ‘dated’ and he recalls the ‘dungeon’ where he learned to launder his clothing. Later assignments included protection of the Fall-Out Shelter in Red Deer and participation in the Wainwright war games. While on his second leave, he motorcycled to the West Coast.
Comrade Ron was not witness to combat or conflict but during training exercises sustained a physical injury which, later in life, necessitated him to use the services of Veterans Affairs. The Armed Forces asked Private Ron to continue with the military but this close call on his health forced Comrade Ron to evaluate his career choices and he chose to return to civilian life.
Branch 270 is the only Legion Branch Comrade Ron has ever joined and said, “My past military experiences rekindled and encouraged me to become involved and serve.”
Regarding our Branch, when asked, if you could change one thing, what would it be? Comrade Ron said, “Put it back to the old way. We took care of our own problems. We did not go outside for help.” Regarding the one thing we do at our Branch that is remarkable, Comrade Ron said, “Social aspect – allows a young member to grow and mature with the Branch. Lots of opportunities to be of Branch service.”
When asked, is there anything you would like to add to this interview? Comrade Ron stated that he is a musician and said, “Given the invitation and opportunity I would be delighted to participate once again. Also, it is important for members to realize that when a Veteran states they were an armed forces member they should not question the validity of their statement. Further, private conversations should remain private.”
We thank you for your service.