Honoree worries about military

The Observer

Retired Warrant Officer Robert Million is proud of Canada's peacekeeping record and worries that it isn't being maintained.

"The government has put the military on the backburner," he said. "We were once the world's peacekeepers but it's not like it was."

Million was honoured Friday with a Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal presented by Sarnia-Lambton MP Roger Gallaway.

Raised in Point Edward, Million 56, joined the local First Hussars with his buddies Peter Westfall and Dick Lawrence when they were 16.

In 1967, he left Point Edward to start training in Petawawa. Five years later, he was sent on his first peacekeeping mission in Cyprus where he spent six months guarding the Nicosia airport.

In 1979, he was sent to the Middle East and travelled extensively across the Sinai Desert in order to assist military camps witrh their refrigeration and air-conditioning; a key role in a hot climate.

A decade later, Million was sent on a third peacekeeping mission to the Golan Heights in the Middle East where he was stationed in a United Nations camp.

They were all volatile situations," he said. "It was peacekeeping but things happen, people shoot at you.

Sarnia-Lambton MP Roger Gallaway presents Warrant Officer Robert G. Million with the prestigious Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal for his three missions overseas.
"It was common for your truck to be shot at by rebels."

In total, he spent about 18 months on three different missions, gleaning a great deal about other cultures and the plight of people living in the Middle East.

"Peacekeeping missions opened my eyes to things you'd never see in Canada," Million said. "The proverty, the way of life.

"I look at and treat people differently because of those experiences. We are so spoiled in Canada. You tend to be a little more humble afterward."

Million retired from Military life in 1993 and now lives in Sarnia with his wife Juvy and two sons, Patrick, 7 and Christian, 6.

" I was excited to get the medal," he said at Gallaway's office where the presentation took place. "You have to be a soldier to understand."
"It's a honour to be recognized for the service you've done."

Since 1953, 125,000 Canadians have served in peacekeeping missions. That's a record unsurpassed by any nation. In 2000, the Department of National Defence began distributing Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medals and has handed out approximately 60,000 to date.

(From Cover A1 section Mar. 10, 2003 as published in The Observer)

(Photo by The Observer.)

For more information email:info@pointedward125th.com

See Weekend Schedule
See Press News conference (The Observer, Jan 30, 2003)
See Press News conference (Sarnia this week, Jan 30, 2003)
See Souvenir Information
See Post Card Information

See Post Card News release (The Observer, Apr. 24, 2003)
See Press Photo of 125th Banner raising (The Observer, May 31, 2003)
See Message From The Mayor
See Special Thanks

See Historical Display

Back to visitpointedward.com