Stampede theme a tribute to those serving and who have served

Every day men and women are working in the Canadian Armed Forces to help make Canada a safe and secure place to live. This year’s Ponoka Stampede theme is ‘A Salute to the Armed Forces.’ This theme encompasses what everyone should do every day for the hard work and dedication of those serving.

Every day men and women are working in the Canadian Armed Forces to help make Canada a safe and secure place to live. This year’s Ponoka Stampede theme is ‘A Salute to the Armed Forces.’ This theme encompasses what everyone should do every day for the hard work and dedication of those serving.

Currently there are 62,000 military personnel in the armed forces including; 9,000 sailors, 19,500 soldiers, 12,500 air force personnel, 20,000 administrative and support personnel and there are also 25,000 reservists according to CBC.ca.

Local contribution

Preparing for the 2008 Ponoka Stampede Special Section these past few weeks I have come into contact with some current members serving, those who have served and the spouses of those serving. These are remarkable men and women who I have gained the utmost respect for and we as a community should also learn to respect these people.

These men enrolled because they wanted to serve their country and make a positive difference in the world. Their responses as to why they wanted to serve are very touching and real. The spouses of the members who are serving also play a very important role in our armed forces and should not be forgotten. They stay in Canada raising their family while their spouses are deployed overseas, working to enable people to have their basic human rights. Overseas there are more than 2,900 members deployed in many different missions.

Canadian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Lester B. Pearson is considered to be the father of modern peacekeeping and Canada has a long history of peacekeeping missions. We as Canadians should be proud of the work that our armed forces are doing around the world.

Red Fridays

Wearing red on Fridays is a simple way to show support for our troops. People can put on a red shirt, a red hat or a red pin in support of our troops. The Red Fridays organization wants to raise awareness to support the troops and show support in a non partisan citizen support for those serving. In the last year it has become a major movement. The Ponoka Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has red t-shirts with a ribbon on them for people to purchase. Also, Legions across Canada are selling pins and shirts for people to show support for our troops. June 27 is this year’s Ponoka Stampede mile long Stampede Parade. It would be an amazing sight if everyone in our community came out to the parade wearing red.

Saluting

It is important that our community recognizes the troops not just on Remembrance Day or during a special theme but every day. There are also troops who have served before and should always be remembered. Even if you do not support the mission that the men and women are deployed on it is vital that you still support the men and women who are serving. There is an old saying that says ‘if you don’t stand behind our troops feel free to stand in front of them.’ Some people might say that this statement could be too harsh but it is true. Our troops have an extremely difficult job and they are always there for us. If you see someone in a military uniform the greatest thing that you could ever do for them and our country would be to go up to them, shake their hand and thank them for their hard work. This year’s stampede theme comes at an important time in our society as our troops work for freedom. This week Canadian soldiers are playing a major role in a multinational push to keep the Taliban from advancing in Afghanistan. Our troops put their life on the line for us every day, for all that you do, We salute our Canadian Armed Forces.