After high school graduation, Comrade Steve Zeidler stated that a Recruitment Officer offered him the opportunity to join the artillery, which was down this young gentleman’s avenue as he enjoys camping and hunting. With a birthday on 11.11, it was practically pre-ordained that the military would be his home for the next twenty years.
In 1985 he joined the army where he served in the artillery until 1994. He recalls being homesick during his early training days but by age 19 he was in Germany and new life adventures were waiting.
Comrade Steve re-mustered to the Air Force (1994-2006) where for the next five years he trained as a Water, Fuel and Environmental Technician (WFE Tech). His responsibilities were the water/sewage plants, fuel farms and conducting environmental studies. He recounts his proudest moment was when, after five years of training, he participated in his graduation ceremony having completed the Journeyman’s Course. These competencies allowed him to carry forth in civilian life as a Civil Engineer.
Comrade Steve served throughout our country, Europe and the Middle East. From Petawawa, Ontario he was posted to Lahr, Germany for the next five years. Returning to Esquimalt, British Columbia he was next posted to Israel. Add to these travels a posting to Winnipeg, (including tours in Alert) he was next deployed to Dubai and back to Petawawa from where he was deployed for two tours of duty to Afghanistan.
Comrade Steve shared that on his first tour to Afghanistan he was surprised; “things were pretty shoddy and everything was always blacked out.” After briefing, the general population fell more in line with standard army life and Comrade Steve continued with what was generally termed the Purple Trade – supporting all commands: army, air force and navy.
Comrade Steve’s convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber; luckily there were no casualties. Proudly exhibited in his home is a shadow box displaying his Special Service Medal, the General Campaign Star (for Afghanistan and Dubai), and the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) with clasp.
While in service, Comrade Steve kept in touch with family by telephone and remarked that the food was good and plentiful and they were well supplied with equipment to do their job. Comrade Steve hinted that this was more than a job; it was an adventure he would replicate in a heart-beat.
Comrade Steve has been hosting the High Noon Navy/Sailor weekend for the past several summers. Earlier this summer, he along with twenty-plus Navy Veterans from across Canada came to visit our Branch and spent time with our Branch Veterans.
Sergeant Steven Zeidler was at Canadian Forces Base Borden when he was medically released from service. He now pursues the family business, the Matchedash Camp Ground.
Bringing this interview to a close, Comrade Steve stated the questions were appropriate to the interview. Due to lack of time, he has restricted involvement with our Branch but he was very complimentary in his remarks for our Ladies Auxiliary and their efforts in hosting the Veterans’ Dinner.
We thank you for your service.