I am back in Woodstock, after a great weekend over in Mallory Town, which is just a little north of Brockville, on the eastern side of Ontario...not too far from Ottawa.
Every year for the past 28 years, my cousin Marion, and her Husband, Peter have hosted a Family reunion on their Farm. Thanks for another great year!
Two Familys came together a long time ago, when my Dad married my Mom, and then my Dads Sister, married my Mom's Brother! Got that! The Familys were large, but all have now departed with the exception of my Mom, who is 91 years old in a couple days, and her Brother, Art, who is now 94! They were happy to be back together again!
It was well worth the 8 hour drive to see my Mom and her Brother again!
It was a great time, with 69 Family Members coming from all over to enjoy a great day and really good food!
There were a couple real neat stories I wanted to highlight tonight for you...
There were a bunch of kids having fun with swimming a face painting... but the young gal you see in this picture above on the left is from Belarus.
The Country of Belarus, shares the norther border of the Ukraine. The Chernobyl Nuclear Accident happened back in 1986, just north of Kiev in the Ukraine. A large part of Belarus was affected by this accident. There is a program that has been in effect for quite a few years now, that brings the young kids out of Belarus to Ontario for a five week summer holiday. Yes, it helps! My Cousin Bob, who lives in Calgary, has a daughter Kimberly, who along with her Husband Nathan, hosted this young girl for the five week period this summer! My Cousin Marion, and her Husband, Peter, hosted a young man of the same age for many years. This young girl speaks zero, none, nada one word of english, but that does not matter! She had a ball at the reunion and is enjoying her time in Canada! This was one feel good storey... here is another!
Meet Nathan... yes, the same young man who along with his Wife, Kimberley hosted the young lady from Belarus. I have not had a lot of opportunity to get to know Kimberley and Nathan, but I did this weekend. Nathan as far as I am concerned is a Canadian Hero! He is a Member of Canada's Armed Forces, and he has completed 3 tours of Afganistan, where he was placed in harms way the entire time!
Nathan is a great and inspiring guy to talk to, and related to me a lot of what went on while he was on his tours. Of course there is two parts to this storey, as his Wife Kimberley was at home in Canada raising their young children (3) under stress the entire time!
Kimberley did a terrific job of face painting all the kids during the day...
Nathan lost two of his Friends in action over the course of his 3 tours, which I could tell affected him... who would it not take a toll on!
Nathan made sure all the kids were belted in before taking them for a ride on the Mule!
It sure must take a very special person to be able to complete this roll in the Armed Forces... The conditions were harsh to say the least... Nathan was telling me that while on Patrol, they would dig holes to sleep in for a couple hours in the night as half of the troups kept watch. I guess if you get tired enough you fall asleep... I don't know if I could.
It was great to see Nathan back in Canada, with just a terrific attitude and personality, and enjoying every moment of life with his Family!
Thanks for your service to Canada, and the World, Nathan! Well done!
Nathan continues his career with our Armed Forces.