Posts made in December, 2016

A wonderful message from Senator Yonah Martin: to our Korean War Veterans

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

As the tragedy unfolds daily in Allepo Syria. Today I received this column from Art Turnbull a brother apprentice and Padre. I certainly makes me think that one day someone from Syria will have the same view of  soldiers of the NATO Alliance, one day in the future. Thank you Senator for your caring of Veterans especially those of of the Korean War.



    Senator Yonah Martin

                         Senator Yonah Martin                                     They Saved Our Lives




When I was young my mother taught us a Korean folk song, Spring In My Hometown. My father was from a town in North Korea and fled to freedom during the Korean War. The song lyrics proclaim, “I miss my blossoming home”, yet my parents never returned to Korea.

They told us as children that we owed a debt of gratitude to Canadian veterans who saved our family and millions of others in the Korean War. I would not be here if not for them. We owe our lives to these soldiers, sailors and air crew.

After the Korean War broke out in 1950 my father’s family fled their home province, Pyong An. Relatives scattered to avoid the hostilities. My father then was only 16, and left his mother who’d stayed behind to care for his eldest sister who was nine months pregnant.

My parents rarely discussed the war. We were never told of their experiences. Did they walk to freedom? Were they helped by Allied soldiers? We don’t know. They grabbed all their worldly goods wrapped in botaris, sacks created by tying large scarves around the items to be carried. When we immigrated to Canada from Seoul in 1972 I carried my own small botari.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians perished in the Korean War. Our community has many painful stories from that era. Whole families begged for food; the bodies of the dead were left in piles; there were whispered accounts of target shootings in the forests. My father was an unsentimental man of few words. We knew the pain he’d experienced in the war.

My father never missed a day of work. He did not golf or take up hobbies or spend money on himself, as other fathers did. If a loaf of bread had mould, Father would cut off the green crust and eat the good parts. We joked that Father could survive eating rocks.

My father passed away in 2007 without ever seeing the family members he’d left behind in North Korea. I may have family in that long-suffering country, but will never be certain. We don’t know who survived the war.

As a former high school English and social studies teacher, I noticed the Korean War was often absent from the history curriculum. They call it the “forgotten war”. As a senator I began drafting a bill in 2010 which later passed into law in 2013 that designates each July 27 as Korean War Veterans Day, the anniversary of the 1953 armistice. We must never forget these Canadians.

I often meet Korean War veterans at commemorative events. I also visit them in long-term care homes. We share smiles, and tears. There were no winners in that terrible war, but I am grateful to these veterans for their service. They are disappearing now; each week I hear of another death, and make plans to attend another funeral.

Today my mother is in care. She has Alzheimer’s. Even with her deteriorating memory, when I speak about the Korean War veterans, her eyes instantly well with tears. “Oh my goodness, I’m so grateful the soldiers came,” she says. Sometimes we walk down the corridor of the personal care home, holding hands, and we quietly sing that folk song she taught us as children:

I miss my blooming home, village of mountain valley;
Peach blossoms, apricots, baby azaleas.

Colourful arena with many beautiful flowers;
I long for the days when I got to play there.

Village of flowers, village of birds, my old hometown;
Such sweet wind coming from southern green field.

Leaves of willow trees danced near the creek;
I long for the days when I got to play there.

(Editor’s note: the author is a Conservative senator from British Columbia, and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate)

On that note we say a prayer for our soldiers sailors airmen and their families.


The Current Government in Ottawa have announced a Lottery for Refugees? I have been buing Lottert Tickets since their inception. I certainly hope that the refugees win. How will this work? match 2 and get another free ticket, win 3 and bring in IN-Laws, 4- a second cousin, 5 plus bonus an uncle / aunt  culminating in 6- bring in immediate family? I write this tongue in cheek as I am unaware of the way this will work satisfactorily?

Canada adopts lottery system for reuniting immigrants with parents, grandparents

Replacing current 1st-come, 1st-served system to make process more fair for all applicants

Merry Christmas to our Troops serving away from Home.


Nil Sine Labore




Read More

‘Complete meltdown of humanity,’

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

What a devastating HEADLINE:……

Complete meltdown of humanity,’ as rebel forces crumble, according to reports. THe poor people of Allepo have been between the Rock and the Proverbial Hard Place for far too many years. How can Humanity stand by and watch this death and destruction on a daily basis?

M E L T D O W N of H U MA N I T Y

In the dictionary despite the primary definition of Meltdown meaning the core of a Nuclear Reactor it also gives this definition:

(informal) the process or state of irreversible breakdown or decline: the community is slowly going into meltdown

Not simply the Allepo Community but the entire country of SYRIA has been let down, by Nato, The UN and the Arab States. Why simply because a madman Bashir Assad is supposedly still in charge? The Russians are supposedly helping to rid the country of a joint enemy of terrorists?

It will be very interesting in Jan when Trump takes over the Governance of the USA? What will he do?

Meanwhile both Islamic and Christian citizens of Syria will suffer,,,,,,, for what. Has anyone asked WHAT? The destruction of a once powerful country both historically and commercially is a global tragedy.

Please give a thought or a prayer for our men and women, trying to resolve this tragic event.

Nil Sine Labore



Read More

Just when you think they cannot get any lower……..

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

Nigeria Maiduguri: Two ‘young girls’ used as human bombs ! ! ! ! !

The gangsters of Boko Haram, isis/daesh are the lowest for of life on our planet. The atrocities carried out by these monsters, just keeps growing. The UN, NATO, should be destroying them by any means. The latest attacks in Nigeria involved 2 young girls.

Time has passed by over a 100 years when the Christmas Truce of 1914 was in effect. Sadly that war killed millions of young men. The killings continue sadly.

We in Canada are fortunate that these atrocities are carried out far from Home. Our friends, families and allies In  Europe sadly are under daily threat of atrocities in Cities towns and Villages.

I feel that it will certainly take a concerted effort by the free world to destroy these butchers. Why is there not a UN Commission to rid our world of this evil scourge?

The Coptic ( Christian) Killings in Cairo. Another sad event of the weekend.

With all the sad news of the world. I was lucky to find this Video on Wayne Flaherty’s time line. Yes I do believe in God, No I do not understand how he/she allows the gangsters of terror exist? Am I in a quandary. I would say that many of us are.  Here is the Video. Please let me know what you thinks.

In two weeks our troops will once again be wakened in a foreign land. Please say a prayer for them and their families and loved ones sitting at home.

Nil Sine Labore




Read More

A peaceful Sunday in the Highlands of Scotland…. not so important news leader about Trousers?

Posted by on Dec 11, 2016 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

Well folks the animals, Llamas, Sheep, Chickens, Cats and Dog have been fed and watered. I now sit down to a coffee and the news from the BBC and the papers. I cannot believe my eyes when the lead story in all UK papers and the Washington Post is about the cost of slacks for the UK Prime Minister Theresa May. What you may ask is the fascination about what Politicians, the Royals and others in the lime light wear?

Especially when the news is filled with atrocities like  the 30 plus dead at a football match in Turkey. The Schools and hospitals bombed and attacked in Yemen. I personally feel that a resolution to the  conflicts around our world is far more important than the items of clothing worn by Leaders. I give you but one story from the Washington Post.

It also reminds me of the days of that political hack and gossipmonger Stevie Cameron of the Globe and Mail. She had a vendetta against my old boss Brian Mulroney for wearing Gucci shoes. She and othersfelt that this item was BIG News… An RCMP Inspector who spoke to a reporter about Mrs Mulroney buying a pair of Guccis shoes for myself, regretted his slip of the tongue. He was removed from PMPD and posted elsewhere. The simple fact was that both the PM and I had the same size feet. I would try on shoes to save the PM from going to a shoe store. Wheteher on Bond St or Montreal. I even tried on his boots at the G7 in Houston, and they were tight However press seem to thrive on issues like that.

Getting back to Theresa May and her slacks. A pundit reported that the cost of these trousers would give a great Christmas to  poor families or the Homeless.  Who is reporting on charitable donations by the leaders? who knows perhaps she donated funds to homeless shelters or to those less fortunate at this festive season of the year.

This article from one of my books:

Article by Gossip Columnist Stevie Cameron about me.



She said both in that article and in one of her booklets. That I had close friends in Canada Customs therefore was never stopped whenever I returned from trips with the family. In theory smuggling in goods Duty free.

This in its self was a blatant lie simply because to this day some 25 years later. I still do not have any friend nor have I ever had an acquaintance in Canada Customs. (I wonder if there is an expiry date for slander charges)

It continues to this day the Press Fascination of Leaders and their clothes…..Not the  global Issues that they deal with.

It is exactly 14 days from this writing till Christmas day. The Birthday of Jesus Christ which is celebrated through out the world. Primarily by Christians. It is time to add our soldiers to your prayers and  wish them safety and comfort where ever they may be serving. I have been sent tis poem many times in the past week. It says it all: I give you Both Army and Navy Versions:

The Night Before Christmas
T’was the night before Christmas,
He lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house,
Made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney,
With presents to give,
And to see just who,
In this home did live.
I looked all about,
A strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents,
Not even a tree.
No stocking by the mantle,
Just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures,
Of far distant lands.
With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought,
Came through my mind.
For this house was different,
It was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier,
Once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping,
Silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor,
In this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle,
The room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured,
A Canadian soldier.
Was this the hero,
Of whom I’d just read?,
Curled up on a poncho,
The floor for a bed?

I realized the families,
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers,
Who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grownups would celebrate,
A bright Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom,
Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder,
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve,
In a land far from home.

The very thought brought
A tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees,
And started to cry.
The soldier awakened,
And I heard a rough voice,
‘Santa, don’t cry.
This life is my choice.
I fight for freedom, I
don’t ask for more,
My life is my God,
My country, my corps.’
The soldier rolled over,
And drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it,
I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still,
And we both shivered,
From the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave,
On that cold, dark night,
This guardian of honor,
So willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over,
With a voice, soft and pure,
Whispered, ‘Carry on Santa,
It’s Christmas Day, all is secure.’
One look at my watch,
And I knew he was right,
‘Merry Christmas my friend,
And to all a good night.’
This poem was written by a peace keeping soldier stationed overseas.
The following is his request, I think it is reasonable.

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many People as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our Canadian service men and women for our being able to celebrate these Festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us….
Now the Naval Version so apt: From Frederick Rodgers the Irish Rover Naval Veteran of both Canada and the Submarine Service of the Royal Navy:
Stay safe and please assist our Veterans if you know any living alone.
Nil Sine Labore





Reply to all


Read More

Calling Home:……….. Stories from Military Families. A Play

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

I was speaking with my daughter  yesterday and she told me of a wonderful production she had attended in Victoria BC.

A Play written by a Lady Kris Atwood and staged by Kathleen Greenfield.

As you may or may not be aware The Military Family is a subject very precious to myself. Whether the immediate family? or the extended military family of Veterans and fellow brothers in arms The Military Family is unique.

Who spends days, weeks, months, and even years apart as part of so called everyday life. MILITARY FAMILIES that is who.

Calling home is a particular poignant point at this time of year as we approach Christmas  and New Years celebrations. (also including Hannukah and other festivities) see attached  PDF.

Calling home nowadays is a bit simpler for some, with Skype and cell phones with  global internet. During WW1. WW2 and the Korean war letters were the only form of reaching out to loved ones from war zones.

In my personal career, calling home from Germany meant a trip to a post office to book a long distance call. Which were quite expensive. Moving on a few years Camp Chams Cairo Egypt. The Jimmies in their Sigs Van allowed us a monthly 3 minute call home. This was achieved by a wireless operator calling out to Ham Operators in Canada, they bounced a radio signal from their 510 set of the Ionisphere. When a Ham Operator answered he/she was given the phone number and he would dial. When the call was answered  the ham operator., would explain that calls were one way and must be signed of with O V E R . This caused some excitement as my son and daughter were only 7 and 5 when I served in UNEF. Never the less things are getting better operational aspects being taken into account.

This play CALLING HOME…… is a series of conversations between military families and a loved one far away. (Primarily the Afghan War). Men and women serving in Afghanistan had periods of cell phone and internet coverage being blocked due to operational commitments.

I for one would love to see this production and I pray that it is shown across Canada. To show people the importance of communication. Births, Deaths, Birthdays and anniversaries all happen while apart.

I thank Kris Atwood for her marvellous stories. Getting back to my daughter Steph, she told me she cried during the performance as memories of being an Army Brat flooded back.

The statues in Victoria titled The Home coming is very poignant and moving.

Coming Home Sculpture Victoria BC

I came across this article on military communications through the years……..Bravo Zulu to the Jimmies

In Closing today I add this  touching story of a British Military Family:


 Padres assist in Communication

Padres assist in Communication in many ways.


A wonderful Story of a Military Family Bible

It was the Company Sergeant Major who noticed it first. ‘What’s that?’ He had noticed a loose bit of plastic poking out from a pouch on Curtis’ armour. ‘Just a Bible Sir,’ the youngster from Manchester replied, quickly tucking it in. The Sergeant Major asked to see it, and then explained that something so special deserved a new bag. Later they sat and the story of the Bible in the young soldier’s body armour was shared, and within minutes we knew about it back at Shawqat. I was due out at Folad the next day anyway, and as soon as I had got my body armour off and a brew in my hand, I sat down with Curtis to hear the story first-hand. The little, battered copy of the New Testament and Psalms had been presented to his great, great grandfather, Private J Greenwood, as a gift from the Naval and Military Bible Society before he deployed into Europe in the First World War. It was then passed to Curtis’ great grandad when he served in World War 2 and then to his grandad, Dennis when he served in Korea with the REME. He never spoke about the time he was captured and held prisoner, but through it all, the times of success and the times that were never given words, that little Bible

stayed with him and gave him some degree of comfort and hope, despite the horror. Uncle Gary took it with him to Northern Ireland too, and yet it was only when Curtis’ great aunt died,

that the whole of the story of the little book came to light. And now, 98 years on, it has been passed to Curtis as he serves on his first tour of Afghanistan. Almost a century of service, of sacrifice, of willingness to step into the breach for the freedom of others has helped define Curtis’ family: ‘It means a lot; it’s shaped me. The whole family has served, and that brought me to the point of knowing that I wanted to join the Army too.’ And along with all that family’s service, a little Bible has brought words of comfort, hope and promise across the globe. And so it was pleasure, an honour, as I left PB Folad, to give Curtis a new Bible, gifted by the Naval, Military and Air Force Bible Society as it is now. The oldest Bible Society on the planet, and still gently, quietly and generously putting God’s word of healing, hope and life into the hands of any of our finest and foremost who would wish to receive it. ‘I write to you young men, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you.’ (1Jn 2:14) So let us give thanks for Curtis’ family and all those others who for a century and more have lived out their hope in the service of our nation..

A HEARTY   Bravo ZULU to   Kris Atwood and  Kathleen Greenfield. For their thoughts of Military Families.

On another note it deeply saddens me to see the demise of the Royal Canadian Legion a once PROUD VETERANS ORGANISATION now a club for wannabees.

Sad news as another Old Soldier moves to the advance Party;

Passing of Lieutenant-General Charles H. Belzile, CM, CMM“It is my sad duty to inform you that LGen Charlie Belzile, formerly 2nd Battalion QOR of C, passed away today. Former Commander Force Mobile Command, Gen Belzile’s service with the Regiment took him from Korea to Calgary, Esquimalt to Lahr, Quebec City to Cyprus. After a tour as Brigade Major in Germany, he was promoted LCol and appointed Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, R22R. As Col he commanded the Combat Arms School, Gagetown, as BGen commanded 4 CMBG in Lahr and as MGen, Canadian Forces Europe. Upon promotion to LGen, Gen Belzile commanded the Canadian Army.

A few Riflemen will remember meeting him when the Regiment sent Guards for the 50th Anniversary of D-Day in 1994 and a subsequent visit to Normandy in 1997, when he was chair of the Canadian Battlefields Foundation, and gave us a private tour and discussion on how the French people to this day view the Riflemen that went before us, and the appreciation they have for our Regiment.

Rest in Peace Sir, and thank you.”

 L/Col Sandi Banerjee

Commanding Officer of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada

Nil Sine Labore




Read More