Veteran UN Peacekeeper shares experience with Kamloops students

By Tanya Cronin
November 10, 2016 - 4:32pm Updated: November 10, 2016 - 6:39pm

KAMLOOPS — Students at Marion Schilling Elementary School were greeted by a special guest today. Captain Mike Young, a veteran who served in the Canadian Army addressed students at the school's annual Remembrance Day service. 

Young is a retired Signals Repairman and was in charge of repairing and maintaining radio operation devices with several battalion units. 

He served in Germany and the Middle East, his job enabling officers and commanders, to send and receive vital information, and pinpoint the exact location of a target.

Just one day before we honour them, students at Marion Schilling Elementary School received a special message from a local veteran with the Canadian Army.

Captain Mike Young was a guest speaker for the school's annual Remembrance Day Service. Young served as a signals repairman, spending most of his career with a battalion in Calgary. But he was posted to various locations including Germany and a tour with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Egypt in 1979. 

"My job was to maintain the communications between the forward battalions that were stretched right from the north end of the Sinai Peninsula at the Mediterranean end right down through the Sinai Peninsula to the South end right near the Red Sea," says Capt. Mike Young, Canadian Army Veteran.

While he wasn't battling on the front lines, Captain Young held a vital role with the Canadian Army. He would drive out into the desert to check the radios, ensuring tactical and strategic communication lines were open and clear, essential to military operations.

"The headquarters has to know what's happening, and it's the same in a battle, the information that's passed back to the commanders is of vital importance in the planning of any kind of a movement or in the planning of a battle, so it's important for communications to be available."

As Remembrance Day approaches, like he does every year, Captain Young will honour the men and women who have served and are still serving in conflicts around the world. 

"We've lost over 100 soldiers in peacekeeping missions and during my time in the Sinai we lost a soldier, so when it comes to Remembrance Day I'll remember the soldiers that I knew that didn't come home, and I'll remember those that fought in wars before me that didn't come home."    

For students at Marian Schilling Elementary, Captain Mike Young represents a real-world person they can link to the history lessons they've learned. 
    
"It's up to them to carry the day of Remembrance on, that's what we want to tell the kids, you're the next generation to keep remembrance day alive," says Capt. Young.

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