A heartwarming break from the political
Here's a simple story of mutual gratitude, offered to warm your heart as it did mine:
Canadians need to know that their support, however small, makes a difference to the morale of our soldiers in Afghanistan.
I am in the Canadian army, and in late August I was assigned to go into that theatre for a number of tasks. Two days before leaving, I was trying to sort out my mother's telephone problems at her apartment. I ended up speaking with a very helpful Bell Canada representative (by the name of Sarah), whose only requirement was that I be at the apartment when the Bell Canada technician arrived the following week.
I explained my predicament, which immediately led to a discussion centred on this lady's appreciation of what our soldiers are doing in Afghanistan. She asked what she could do to show her support for them. At the end of our conversation, I said I would do what I could to have a patrol named after her, and let the soldiers know why this was being done.
I am from the Royal Canadian Regiment and have served with the Second Battalion and it just so happened that the soldiers on this rotation were from 2 RCR. So it was easy to accomplish my mission, and on the Sept. 12 patrol, 12 Charlie was renamed patrol Sarah One, and left just after last light for its task in the area of Kabul. The 12th was chosen because that is the date of Sarah's birthday.
The soldiers were all briefed beforehand on the reasons for the patrol name change, and were genuinely gratified that someone in Canada cared that much. As I watched them leave, their smiles were shining highlights amongst all their paraphernalia of war.
I took their photo while it was still light and attempted to send the photo, story and patrol report to Sarah at Bell Canada, but was unable to do so because of Bell Canada's privacy regulations. So Sarah, wherever you are, you made a difference. Thanks from the soldiers.
Lt.-Col. A.F. Robertson,
BZ, LCol Robertson. And well done, Sarah. Thanks to you both for reminding the rest of us of our own best instincts, and providing us with an example of our own potential for goodness.
Update: In comments, keaner21 steps up where I should have and provides a link to a DND webpage that lets you write messages of support to Canadian troops. I'd encourage you to do just that.