Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Thank You from a soldier

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)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My New Mission

In 1993 and in grade 11 my plan was to finish high school and sign up with The Canadian Forces but in 1994 that came to a sudden stop

In April of 1994 I was walking home from the Bayshore mall and was attacked by three guys and stabbed 13 times. The two most severe wounds were in my upper left leg and I had to have major surgery as I lost half of my muscle in my leg.  I basically had to learn to walk all over again and for many years I used it as an excuse to be lazy.

Up until about two years ago I couldn't walk over 1km without having severe leg cramps in my left leg and a lot of pain.  On occasion to it would affect my work as I would have to get up and stretch it out so that it wouldn't cramp up.

So that night after the guys who attacked me took off I was lying on the sidewalk losing a lot of blood and two off duty fire fighters happen to be driving by that night and saved my life.  They also held the muscle in my leg together long enough that I didn't end up losing my entire left leg.

My biggest weight over 340lbs on the left meeting Gene Simmons
Since that day I have always had a huge respect for first responders and used to randomly bring tins of Tim Hortons coffee to fire halls as a way of saying thank you for saving my life.

In March of 2007 I had heard there was a Tim Hortons being opened in Afghanistan and a friend of mine was deployed and I asked him if he had to pay for his coffee.  Thus "Tim Hortons for our troops" was launched.

In 2010 someone sent me a news article about MCpl Jody Mitic.  A member of the Canadian Forces who had lost both his lower legs in Afghanistan after stepping on an IED.  Jody refused to let his injuries stop him and has participated in numerous 5km runs on prosthetic legs.

It was after hearing his story and becoming friends with him on Face book that I decided to stop using my injury as an excuse to be lazy.  I started walking a little bit more and got to the point where the leg cramps were gone and I started to get some strength back in my leg.

On February 28th, 2012 I posted a Facebook status that said "Tomorrow is day one" as I had enough of making excuses and was going to make a huge change in my lifestyle.  A friend of mine Chris McArdle said "Me too" and with that the "Weight loss challenge in support of Military Minds" was launched.

My most recent photo day 1 & day 80 of the TASWLC
So here I am 84 days later and I feel like a different person.  I have lost almost 50lbs, go to the gym 3-5 times a week and am hooked on this new lifestyle.

I've received emails from people saying that I've inspired them to start doing the same and attempt to get fit.  If you had of told me that a year ago I would have thought you were insane but I am ok with that.

That being said, I am very happy to announce that I have a new mission.  I am going to be applying to The Calgary Highlanders reserve unit here in Calgary, Alberta. 

I know it's not going to be easy but I am more determined than I have ever been and will "NEVER QUIT"

I want to send a special shout out to Jody Mitic, Paul Franklin, Mark Fuchko and every other Wounded Warrior who never let their injuries get the best of them. You have inspired in ways I could never be able to express on on a blog here. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Loops For The Troops

The Loops for the Troops Father’s Day Run/Walk is a time to honour those who have made and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.

The event was founded by Michael Hornburg in honour of his son, Corporal Nathan Hornburg who was killed on active duty in Afghanistan on September 24, 2007. The Loops for the Troops event is in support of our Canadian military and first response services, veterans, their families and in remembrance of our fallen who paid the Ultimate Sacrifice.  Since Nathan was a regular runner, the idea of a public run in his honour seemed appropriate. A few weeks later, the ball was rolling.

"Nathan was out there trying to serve the larger community and we've got his example right in front of us. All of us . . . (can) carry on his mission."

For this, our fifth year, we invite supporters to come watch or challenge the troops and first responders to a 5K, 10K or Military Mile in North Glenmore Park. Bring the family and check out the military equipment on display from Edmonton and listen to speeches from some local and military dignitaries.

Join us Sunday, June 17, 2012 at North Glenmore Park to support of the troops and first responders who ensure our day-to-day freedom, both at home and abroad.

The Calgary race will be in the same great location near the Glenmore Reservoir for another year

I have just registered for this and inviting everyone I know in the Calgary area to do this with me.

Not in Calgary?

If you are not in Calgary and still want to do this they have what is called "Running In Spirit" which you can also sign up for on their site and for anyone who does this, we'll ask that you send in a photo of you walking/running 5km (3.2 miles) on Fathers day.  Just go to The Running Room site and click Register Now on the "Running In Spirit" section.


Dave Murphy - Calgary, Alberta
Chris McArdle - Mission, B.C
Dallas Craik - (From Calgary, Alberta) will be Running In Spirit in London, England
Shawn MCD - Calgary
Chris Jeapes - Toronto, Ontario
Emma E. Jeapes - Toronto, Ontario
JoAnne Brydon - Toronto, Ontario


Friday, May 18, 2012

Leave No Vet Behind

Today I was sent this site and asked if I would post it on our blog page and I didn't hesitate please take a moment to watch the video below and visit the Leave No Vet Behind website.

Thank You


ARE YOU ON TWITTER?  Find your Member of Parliament and send them a tweet! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Online Auction for Military Minds

Starting today until the end of May we have some items for auction to raise funds for Military Minds.

Shipping is included in the starting bid and 100% of proceeds (minus shipping) will be going to Military Minds, we have a Camo Leafs Jersey, signed Kandahar Hockey League jersey, A Tim Hortons roll up the rim Kandahar cup and other items.

I will post the full size photos of the Kandahar Hockey League Jersey here as its hard to see on the auction page.


Click here to bid on this jersey 

Click here to bid 

Click here to bid

Click here to bid 

Click here to bid on this rare Tim Hortons Kandahar Hat & Roll up the rim cup 

Friday, May 11, 2012

To all the Military Moms of Thank A Soldier

I wanted to do something special this year for all the "Military Moms" of our Facebook page & that follow me on Twitter so for four days I posted status's asking Mom's to leave their names.  We heard from women who are serving in the military who are moms, mothers & grandmothers of soldiers and a few Gold Star Mothers in the U.S.A and several mothers of fallen Canadian soldiers.

I know there will be some that we have missed as they may have not of seen the status updates but we were able to get a lot of names on this photo.

Mothers Day isn't until May 13th, but I'm posting this today so that people have a chance to see it before Mothers Day incase they aren't near a computer.

If you would like to download a copy of the full photo click the image below and save it to your computer.  When posting to Facebook it shrinks the photo so the names are not visible.

Thank You all.............


Note : Special shout out to Luis Rivera for designing the photo for us 

The Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal - Thank You

On May 10th , 2012 I received the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal thanks to a Veteran with the Canadian Forces Mike Blais Rcr Cfds who now runs The Canadian Veterans Advocacy which is guided by the motto: "one veteran, one standard" and we will continue to advocate for all Canadian veterans until all veterans of all eras are treated equally.

I am truly humbled and honoured that he would submit me for a nomination to receive this and now that I’ve had 24 hours to let it sink in I wanted to put my thoughts on here.

First of all to every person who has joined any of my Facebook groups, followed me on Twitter, Watched a YouTube video of ours, sent in photos for The Gratitude Project, sent Tim Hortons certificates with our Coffee 4 Troops campaign, Shared a photo, signed the petition for the Canada Post stamp, video or post on our Facebook page I want to say THANK YOU. If it wasn’t for everyone taking part in all of this with me I would be “One guy on a page”

Every time I have ever done an interview with the media I always refer to “Thank A Soldier “ as “WE” not “I” as even though I’m the one person answering the emails and running the Facebook page it’s more of a community and I try and include everyone in everything I do whether the feedback is positive or negative.

Most Importantly to every member of our military past and present and their families that I have gotten to know in the last five years THANK YOU. I have learned so much from all of you and I am very thankful for that.

To all my friends that have lost loved ones serving that I have met in the last five years you have made me a better person. I have gained a whole new appreciation of family and how important it is. Yes, I loved my family always but meeting you have made me take nothing for granted that much more. Every one of you are in my thoughts and prayers always.  I truly feel all of our fallen heroes should get one of these medals also but every time that I wear it, I will wear it in memory of all our fallen heroes and their families.

I don’t do these things looking for recommendation or the spotlight however when they come from a nomination by Veterans I humbly accept them with honour. In October thanks to a nomination by Major John Haylock I will be Knighted into The Order Of St. George which also leaves me stuck for words. I am also inviting anyone who's a member of "Thank A Soldier" to come to the ceremony on October 13th, if you're interested in going you an R.S.V.P on the Facebook Event 

Again, I want to say Thank You to all my page members from every corner of the world I have no plans of stopping any time soon and am more determined than ever to make “Team Thank A Soldier” stronger than ever.

Dave Murphy – Calgary, Alberta

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

67 Years ago - Victory In Europe Day

The news flash reached Canada at 9:36 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time  “Germany has surrendered unconditionally.”

On this day in 1945, we celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.

 crowds flood onto Rue Ste-Catherine in Montreal.

There were official celebrations across Canada, including a parade on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, crowds filled the streets of Toronto and Montreal, there were victory parades in small towns. Times Square in New York City and Piccadilly Circus in London were packed.

The eighth of May spelled the day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms: In Prague, Germans surrendered to their Soviet antagonists, after the latter had lost more than 8,000 soldiers, and the Germans considerably more; in Copenhagen and Oslo; at Karlshorst, near Berlin; in northern Latvia; on the Channel Island of Sark--the German surrender was realized in a final cease-fire. More surrender documents were signed in Berlin and in eastern Germany.

The main concern of many German soldiers was to elude the grasp of Soviet forces, to keep from being taken prisoner. About 1 million Germans attempted a mass exodus to the West when the fighting in Czechoslovakia ended, but were stopped by the Russians and taken captive. The Russians took approximately 2 million prisoners in the period just before and after the German surrender.

Meanwhile, more than 13,000 British POWs were released and sent back to Great Britain.

Pockets of German-Soviet confrontation would continue into the next day. On May 9, the Soviets would lose 600 more soldiers in Silesia before the Germans finally surrendered. Consequently, V-E Day was not celebrated until the ninth in Moscow, with a radio broadcast salute from Stalin himself: "The age-long struggle of the Slav nations...has ended in victory. Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over."

On May 8,  Prime Minister William Mackenzie King addressed the nation. He underlined that the “victory was won at so great a price.” After six years of conflict, in which Canada had enlisted more than one million men and women in the armed forces, 42,000 were dead. It was indeed a remarkable contribution for a country of 11 million people. Canada had won the respect of other nations and  emerged as a new power in the world, a benevolent power. As Canadians and Europeans took to the streets to celebrate, Mackenzie King pointed out that the War was not over; Japan had yet to surrender. For many, it was a summer of semi-peace.

Please take a moment today to remember those Veterans who gave their lives so that we enjoy our freedoms we have today.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A weekend away for troops

A good friend of mine Mark Maclean who has been admin on my Thank A Soldier pages for the last 3.5 years is in a contest for a Muskoka cottage for a week.  He is going to be inviting a long some men and women of the Canadian Forces if he wins this to come and party with him for any day of the week that he is there.  

If we can have Mark win this I already have some military members & their families for a few days away at this cabin.  

Due to some tampering the contest was down for 24 hours but it`s back up and time for us to put him in to first place!!  NOTE : You can vote ONCE per day until May 21st!

After knowing Mark for a few years on Facebook on my second last visit to Toronto we got to meet in person and it was like I had met a brother I had lost contact with.  When Mark says something I know he stands by it and his first thought when he entered this contest was "If I win this imagine if I could get some of our men and women up there to celebrate with me"

So that being said right now Mark is in second place and we can help him win this.  If he wins and you would like to join him at the cottage you can send him an email.

"Being a Thank A Soldier supporter for almost 4 years ive gotten to know a lot of amazing people...knowing Dave Murphy was and still is and always will be a Second Brother to me...So here i have entered a contest to win a cottage for a week I am inviting all military personnel to it if i win and your family and friends..You have given us the Freedom to do this and all I want is to give back...please vote for us to win this we all can celebrate..." - Mark Maclean

If you want to help him win all you have to do is Click the photo below, Click Like & Vote!!!!!!



Friday, May 4, 2012

Our Official Pages

It has come to my attention today that a Facebook page has been cropping out our website address out of our display photos and using them on their page to solicit for donations. I am listing all of our official pages below and if you see anything that is not on any of these pages listed below it is not from us also we DO NOT accept donations of any kind so this is a very big issue to hear about.

The matter has also been reported and being looked in to Thank You!

If you see this happening please email us at


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