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Monday, August 08, 2016

Remembrance Day...

Today's entry is going to be a little bit different.

I say this because I will be writing a personal tale that unfortunately doesn't have a very happy ending.  That said, this is something that I want to do because I feel that people can get a lot out of it, and if one person can take what I say because of it, then that will have made all the difference.

You know, this American election is getting incredibly hard to stomach and is growing uglier and uglier each day.  Sometimes I feel like I am watching a really bad movie or a "Saturday Night Live" sketch whenever any election coverage comes on - and yet, it's all real, all happening in real time.  And I think the uncertainty is what scares us the most.

I'm sure that you all have heard about the latest happenings that seem to be surrounding the Republican nomination for the presidential race.  It's bad enough that he felt the need to make snarky and belittling comments towards the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who was killed in battle - but then to make callous remarks about how he always wanted a Purple Heart on top of that?

I mean, does he even understand the real meaning of what the word "sacrifice" is?  Get real, Mr. Trump.

A Purple Heart is not a fashion accessory that you can pair up with a pink bandana and blue jelly bracelets.  It is a medal of valour that soldiers receive because they were injured or killed while serving their country in hopes of protecting the freedom that so many nations enjoy today.

And don't even get me started on his comments towards the Khan family.  Maybe this is just my thoughts (and believe me, they probably won't even be valid to some of you as I am not American and I cannot vote in the 2016 election) - but I feel as though any person who makes a mockery of veterans and soldiers - and by extension, their loved ones - is unfit to lead an entire nation of people. 

To me, veterans should never be mocked or abused or treated as if they are beneath another person.  They should be honoured and respected and treated with dignity because if not for them, our lives as we know it could be so different.

And this goes for all veterans of the armed forces - whether they served in a war or stayed behind to defend their homeland.

Kind of like my cousin Craig did.

I don't really have too many stories to tell about Craig.  Craig's dad was my Uncle Clarke, and sadly, Clarke passed away a few years before I was born, so I never really got the chance to know him.  But Craig was one of Clarke's children, and he was thirteen when I was born. 

I probably met him for the first time when I was a baby, but the one time I really remember meeting him was when he came down for a visit with his brother - my cousin Tyler - around 1988 or 1989.  At that time, I was only seven, and I don't really remember what we talked about, but I do remember it being fun to have them around.  Growing up in a house with sisters, I did wish for a brother so that I wasn't completely surrounded with estrogen!  But knowing that I had older cousins who were male sort of made me feel a little better, even though they lived far away.  

Craig served for the Canadian Airborne Regiment for many years, and when he wasn't in a remote part of the world as part of his training and missions, he was back home in Canada.  And he came and visited quite a few times in between that time.  I think the last time I saw him was in 2004, but he still stayed close to my father, his mother, and his brothers and sisters as he tried to navigate through life.

That's why it hit the entire family hard...when my cousin Craig died early Saturday morning.  Even though I had only met my first cousin a few times, it's still hard to deal with the death of a family member.  I can't even imagine what his immediate family is going through right now, as they must be absolutely devastated, and I hope that they are supporting each other during this difficult time.

It won't bring back Craig, but at the very least, I hope they know that they aren't alone and that every branch of the family is grieving his loss. 

In memory of my cousin, Craig



  1. I am very grateful to have known Craig along with several of his siblings and other family members. I am proud of his commitment to Canada and the free world. Good people are rewarded and he is in a better place and still taking care of his family and the free world. Trump is ignorant and an embarassement and this is about Craig, I will stop there!