The changing face of Canadian veterans

Written by admin on 26/04/2020 Categories: 老域名出售

REGINA – The lasting image many Canadians have of war veterans is elderly men and women adorned in medals.

But as the years pass, the generation that fought in World War II or the Korean War no longer makes up the majority of vets.

By 2016, the federal government expects 72 per cent of veterans to have served in modern-day, such as peacekeeping or the mission in Afghanistan.

“Veterans are the ones that never came home.” – Sgt. (Ret’d) Leo von Falkenhausen

The average age of veterans is 57 years old.

While faces are changing, though, the experiences remain largely the same.

“It doesn’t matter what regiment you’ve served with,” said David Reed, a retired bombardier. “We’ve all worn the Canadian flag on our sleeve.”

Reed was a U.N. peacekeeper with the Royal Canadian Artillery in Croatia. He now works as a paramedic in Regina.

Bdr. (Ret’d) David Reed, 44, was a U.N. peacekeeper with the Royal Canadian Artillery in Croatia.

Derek Putz / Global News

He’s only 44, but has lost comrades both overseas and to their own hands at home.

“You carry that on your heart every day.”

Leo von Falkenhausen, a retired sergeant with the Royal Regina Rifles, served in Bosnia and Afghanistan. Today, he’s viewed in a similar fashion to Canadian vets decades ago.

“When I was younger, in the military, it was kind of an ‘awe’ thing (for) World War II veterans and any other veterans,” he said. “Now, I think of the sacrifices of guys I knew personally. Some of them, the ultimate sacrifice.”

Sgt. (Ret’d) Leo von Falkenhausen of the Royal Regina Rifles served in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Derek Putz / Global News

For the 34-year-old, now a city police officer, the term “veteran” doesn’t sound quite right.

“Do I classify myself as a veteran? Technically, yes,” von Falkenhausen said. “(But) the veterans, for me, are the ones that never came home.”

They are, however, veterans in the eyes of Canadians paying their respects.

Reed considers it an important responsibility.

“To pass that torch to the next generations and show them the pride of what our heroes gave to us.”

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