Sunday, July 1, 2012

Base Motivations

There's a lot of countries I like, but only one I love, so I guess it's a good thing I live in that one, huh? I've never lived outside Canada, so I don't have a real basis for comparison in terms of residing elsewhere, but I've never wanted to, and I have a hard time seeing that changing.

After church today (and discovering that our hymnals do have "Oh Canada" in them), we braved the intermittent rain and headed north to the Edmonton Garrison (formerly CFB Namao) for their Canada Day Block Party, kind of a combination open house and fair.

Glory got a maple leaf airbrushed onto her leg and then enjoyed a pony ride.

Then she and Audrey climbed aboard a Leopard tank while I talked to the crew.

Hearing the military band playing "Sweet Caroline" and "That's the Way (Uh-Huh,Uh-Huh) I Like It" was a little surreal, but enjoyable nonetheless.  And, of course, the ubiquitous mini-donuts.

Mostly it was nice being on the grounds for the first time since the last Namao air show back in the early '90s.  It took us a while to find the park where the festivities were being held, so we ended up driving across a good part of the grounds on streets with names like Ubique Avenue, Korea Road and Vimy Avenue.  Looking at the various parking lots full of cargo trucks, light assault vehicles and tanks provides a sobering reminder of the scope and scale of the operations the various battalions can be called upon to participate in.

It's not the easiest life in the world, the military, and in addition to dangerous work done for comparatively low pay, it's hard to have a sense of community when you are uprooted and relocated at sporadic intervals, and often have to live away from civilians in base housing.

I'm glad the girls had a chance to see where some of these men and women (and their families) work and live, for the opportunity to demystify and normalize this demanding lifestyle, and to be grateful for the sacrifices they make on our behalf, and on behalf of a nation that doesn't always recognize it.

However you chose to observe it, I hope you took a moment to reflect on Canada today, both its history or its future.

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