Veteran from Afghanistan speaks to St. Aug. students

Remembrance was in the spotlight for St. Augustine last week with a special guest highlighting the importance of remembrance.

Cpl. Samantha McCargar speaks to students at St. Augustine Catholic School Nov. 9 about her experience fighting in Afghanistan. She highlighted the differences from Canada to Afghanistan.

Remembrance was in the spotlight for St. Augustine Catholic School last week with a special guest highlighting the importance of remembrance.

Held Nov. 7, the Remembrance Day ceremony was organized by the Grade 9 students who showcased the special symbols of remembrance. Among them the Canadian Flag as a symbol of respect, the poppy as a memorial symbol, the wreath representing an everlasting circle and the lighting of candles to symbolize prayer.

Among the speakers was Cpl. Samantha McCargar, who was an infantry soldier with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry First Battalion in Afghanistan.

For McCargar, the experience showed her how different the two countries are. During her tour, McCargar was a driver in a light armoured vehicle. McCargar’s and other staffs job was to see where they could assist with developing schools for children.

Most of the children were unable to go to school despite a strong desire to take in classes, she explained. “Girls were not allowed to go to school. Boys were only allowed to go. Not so bad here hey?”

Among the other cultural differences was that if a woman went to jail for an offence such as theft, then her children would have to come with her.

“In Kandahar the kids go with the women,” she explained.

McCargar also took some time to explain the definition of wars and how they are created. “War is never a good thing because some people get hurt and some people are killed and it all costs us in many ways.”

“But sometimes wars have to be fought because we have to protect ourselves,” she added.

She is proud of Canada’s policies with regard to war and to the protection of innocent lives. Add to that the work and dedication of past soldiers has ensured citizens’ freedoms.

“Canada is where it is today because of the sacrifices made by the soldiers before us,” she said.

Being a driver had its challenges as McCargar had only three specific boxes she could see through. “I had to really trust my fellow soldiers on top of my vehicle to direct me and tell me what was going on around me.”

Among the risks of her duty was the potential of roadside bombs. McCargar presented some photos from her tour in a slideshow, among them the damage that can come from a roadside bomb.

“Our lives and our homes should not be taken for granted,” said McCargar.

She advises people remember that freedom is not free. “Remember the brave soldiers that gave their lives standing up for us. Lest we forget.”

Ponoka veteran Walt Burchnall also took some time to speak on his experiences during the Second World War.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revenue Canada, RCMP don’t accept Bitcoin: police

RCMP issue Bitcoin warning posters

Mat program not quite ready to open its doors

Committee hopes to bring people out from the cold with overnight shelter program

Ponoka County writes off quarter of a million in taxes

Bankrupt energy companies hitting county financially

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

‘Manny’s Motel’ badly damaged by fire Jan. 15

Police say 40 Ave. closed due to fire, use alternate route

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Alberta says universities over-budget; need to freeze travel, hiring, hosting

Demetrios Nicolaides says spending is not meeting expectations

Most Read