Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:44

Large contingent of the FOVC rolling into Suffield July 28

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Those travelling on July 28 on the TransCanada highway west of Ralston may come across a large number of bikers heading east.
On Saturday, the group Friends of Veterans Canada (FOVC) is holding a major bike rally in support of the Video-A-Veteran bike campaign.


The rally is being referred to as the “Afghanistan Veterans Salute Rally” and is an endurance rally for motorcycles and some cars travelling 650 km across Alberta to some of the military bases in the province.
The rally will start in Edmonton, and from there they will visit the military base at CFB Wainwright. Then they hit the highway on their way to Suffield. They will have an overnight camp-out in Suffield July 28.
Naturally, they will be using the ‘Veterans Memorial Highway Alberta’.
Randy Young, spokesperson for the FOVC said the main purpose is to create some public awareness for the group, to inform the public about the plight of some veterans following their returns to civilian lives, exchange of ideas and to help raise some money to get a couple of veterans to be able to go over to Dieppe, France where some celebrations mark the event.
“In Dieppe, they (Canadians) are war heroes over there,” explained Young. “I need to get one guy over there. He’s from Botwood, Newfoundland and his name is Frank ‘Jiggs’ Borland … In 1944, he was one of the first off in Dieppe. He led a recognizance team in front of the regiment … He’s a hero over there, everyone knows who he is and he was named on their Legion of honour. In Canada, he’s living off an old folks’ pension.”
Young wants to do a documentary on the 86-year-old Borland’s impressive military career and then help him return to Dieppe. Young can’t afford to do the project alone and needs financial support. He said those people who want to help him and some of the other vets can make a tax deductible donation through PayPal.
This wouldn’t be the first time the FOVC has done such as project.
In 2008, a Veterans Video Awareness Tour was held which stopped through more than 20 Canadian cities for those who served in the first two world wars and Korea. Now, they are also looking at trying to help those who served in Afghanistan. According to Young, September 10 is the start date for the “Video-A-Veterans for Cash Campaign”.
It celebrates the 73rd anniversary of Canada declaring war on Germany in 1939.
The campaign runs until Sept. 10, 2013. People can get involved in this campaign and earn themselves some cash for their efforts to help save history.
Young indicates on the FOVC’s website that “family members of the veteran or the public such as cadets, scouts, students, retirement home residents and teachers — anyone can get paid for a Canadian veteran’s story. We will be paying $25 for every hour of recorded stories tape or DVD submitted to our charity. Go to Video-A-Veteran for CASH Campaign ‘Campaign Rules.’ All Canadian veteran’s stories are eligible from the Second World War to Afghanistan and all peace keeping missions in-between. During the months of September and October 2012 the FOVC will be holding fundraising dinners and other events to support the campaign.”
Young, who is from London, Ontario, is not a Canadian veteran himself, but his family were all in the military for the first two wars.
He has made a lot of friends during this time and is sympathetic to the financial plight of many of the soldiers.
As far as this weekend’s rally goes, Young isn’t really sure what to expect as far as numbers.
“I'm guessing there will be at least 50 to 100 to start and then after … we really don’t know,” explained Young.
More information is available online at: http://friendsofveterans.ca/

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Ryan Dahlman

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