Army; Cold War; Domestic Service
My military story started in May/June 1968. I wanted a motorcycle and the only job I could find was with the 2 Intelligence Training Company Militia unit in Toronto. I cut my hair off and did 5 weeks of basic training for $250. I got my motorcycle. A red Honda Sport 90.
I signed up for 3 years and over the next 3 years while completing high school I worked my way up to Lance Sergeant (Snr Nco Pt 1). I taught drill and weapons classes to new recruits at the Toronto Service Battalion. I guarded weapons during the October crisis on 1970.
I graduated high school in June 1970 and worked in an office until May/June 71, when I was offered a posting to our NATO mission in Germany. I quit my job - no job protection for military service in those days. I was posted to the 3rd Canadian Mechanized Commando near Baden-Baden from July to the end of October.
On my return to Canada I wanted to join the regular force and go to school to become an officer. I was told that the last course for me had started in September and there was nothing they could do. At the age of 21 I was too old. I left the reserve within 3 months.
I went back to school and studied Film and Television production. I have worked as a Producer/Director in corporate communications and equipment sales and with the Dufferin Peel RCSSB as a Video/Audio/Stage technician and Network and PC technician.
I am ON/PQ Ops Officer for the Canadian Army Veterans 1 CAV Motorcycle Unit, and the 1st Vice President and Service Officer for Royal Canadian Legion Branch #82 in Port Credit.
I have spoken to schools about my grandfather John Allingham, an 18-year-old wounded in April 1917 at Vimy Ridge. I have walked the ground at Vimy, Beaumont Hamel, Passchendale, Ypres, Dunkirk, La Coupole, Dieppe, Juno Beach, Pegasus Bridge, Arromanches, Omaha Beach, Abbaye d'Ardenne and dozens of cemeteries.