Hi and Welcome

This is me going kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

My name is Gerald and the Decorations you see are really mine.

From left to right they are the Special Service Medal, the Peacekeeping Service Medal, U.N.Medal Cyprus and the Canadian Decoration.

I find it hard to talk about myself.

I joined the Military on Dec 4 1973 at the age of 17. Before that I was in the 59th Essex and Kent Scottish  Army Cadets at the age of 13. It wasn’t a particulary sad time for my family when I joined the Military, seeing as this is what I wanted since I was about 6 or 7 yrs old and they seen it coming. My uncle and I used to watch a tv series called Combat. It was popular from 1962 to 1967. It starred Vic Morrow and Shecky Greene. Some times I wish it was on the Deja View station.

I left Wallaceburg On and went to Cornwallis NS January 3 1974 for my initial Military Training Course 7401. We got there and all our civies were put in storage, so all we had to wear were uniforms.  Within a couple of days we had the haircuts, which caused a lot of laughs with the barbers.   We had one man who had extremely long hair, now remember this was the early 70’s, and they shaved half of his hair off then went to lunch. Needless to say the man missed lunch.

During that time, we did the obstacle courses, the 1 1/2 mile, the 5 mile runs  and the 10 mile route march. Now remember his was still winter and we also had swim training. Well after swimming we were ordered, “10 minute to be on the road”. Well in that 10 minutes, you had to dry, get your uniform on,tie your tie, get your parka on and form up. A lot of us got a bit of frostbite on our ear tips and fingers.

Also at that time there were people lost due to meningitis, which made many nervous. Myself, not knowing what that was, I was nervous also. No one from my platoon became infected, but some of the previous platoons did . We did lose people, mostly due to homesickness or just coming to the realization that this was not the life they thought it would be.

It all finished eventually and we got our first postings. Mine was to the 3 PPCLI in Victoria B.C. Not to bad for a first posting or so you would think.

The actual infantry training in Victoria was in a place called Albert Head. It consisted of tar paper shacks and small steel beds. It had no lockers, so all our clothing was hung up behind the bed and in our barrack boxes.

When we first arrived by bus, we were in our dress uniforms. The previous training platoons were finishing their final exercise. All we seen was razor wire, smoke grenades and men in combat uniforms running and shooting. To myself I thought “what the hell did I get myself into”. But it still turned out good. We did go to Victoria and the training never stopped.

To this day I will never regret my choice to join.


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