As a soldier, getting a simple thank you from a stranger is one of the most rewarding things that can happen. Going to Tim Horton’s and already having a cup of coffee paid for - before you even get to the counter is another example of how so many people really do care. I didn’t even get a chance to say thanks.
I take seriously the fact that when I wear my uniform I represent all of my comrades and most importantly the friends that we all have lost overseas. When someone says thank you, they are saying it to all soldiers and words cannot describe how much that means to us and to me
One particular thank you that I was fortunate enough to be part of was in March of 2011. After the holidays can be a difficult time in
Afghanistan, but this particular
thank you put a lot of smiles on a lot of peoples’ faces.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment along with some great celebrities visited us in Kandahar. Brian Burke, Andi Petrillo, Arlene Dickinson, and JP Veitch - who is a huge supporter of my regiment, shook our hands. A couple of great bands, Default and Glass Tiger put on a show for us. There was also a group of former NHL’ers including: Lanny McDonald and Tiger Williams, all of whom came to out to show their support. Oh and of course the Stanley Cup was there too.
It was, however, a guy that I didn’t know - that was the guy I would really liked to have met. At the time I didn’t even know he was in the country, when a giant hockey mask was presented by him, to the forces to be displayed at Canada House in KAF. I just though wow, what a nice helmet. I am a huge hockey fan - as many of us are in the forces - and the thing I didn’t know was that he had painted a few more masks than the one I saw on the stage that night. I had seen them before: Carey Price, Brent Johnson, Brian Elliott, Anti Niemi, Jaroslav Halak and Mike Smith to name a few; all wear masks done by this artist. Not only that, some more significant masks like Carey Price’s Remembrance Day mask and of course Trooper Mark Wilsons inspired Soldier Tribute Mask as well. His name is David Arrigo and to you David, I say - THANK YOU.
Adam Beebe (Canadian Forces)