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“Deployed” is a very real and poignant documentary about Canadian Reservists who deploy overseas


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You may have come across a number of social media posts recently about jobs available in the Canadian Army Reserve. It’s no secret that they are on a major recruiting drive across the country looking to boost their numbers by as much as 2500 soldiers.

As Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of 41 Signal Regiment in Alberta, it’s my job to help expand the understanding of the role the Reserve plays in the success of military operations at home and abroad. In Canada, the Army Reserve is part of virtually every domestic operation. This includes natural disasters like fires – think Slave Lake and Ft. McMurray, and floods like we saw in Calgary a few years ago.  Internationally, the Army Reserve supports our Regular Forces.  This has proven successful around the world, most notably in Afghanistan.

Recently I screened the documentary Deployed: Army Reservists Overseas, by LCol Mike Vernon of the Calgary Highlanders, a former video journalist for CBC and currently a journalism instructor at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

Deployed is broken into three chapters: the first is comprised of early missions such as Egypt, Cyprus and Africa; the second is Bosnia and Croatia in the early 1990s and finally Afghanistan. There is a progression from the first interview of a reservist who served in Egypt in 1976 through to the final soldier returning from Afghanistan in 2012.

“In each part I look at: What was your motivation, expectations, experiences and what was it like coming home?” Vernon says. “And what’s it like now dealing with whatever they dealt with. Some of them had PTSD, some of them had a drinking problem. And they speak quite openly about those struggles. “So there’s that range of experience, and I think you also get that sense of how the army has evolved in terms of welcoming soldiers home, dealing with PTSD. But it’s very much at the level of personal experience.”

I’d encourage anyone with an interest in the experience of our Reservists to watch this film.  It features interviews with a wide variety of current and former soldiers from Alberta who have deployed on dozens of missions, beginning with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Egypt in the 1970s on through the Afghanistan deployments of recent years.

It’s important to remember that in Canada, reservists are not ordered to serve overseas, but volunteer to do so, putting their civilian lives on hold until their return. The Highlanders are part of 41 Canadian Brigade Group, based in Calgary, and all the soldiers in the documentary are drawn from units of that Brigade Group.

Though each is a unique individual, their personal stories tell some universal truths about our soldiers, their lives and their work. For all of them, their days overseas were filled with moments of adrenaline-filled risk balanced by the daily routine of regular duties that are part of every deployment. As reservists who often must immediately integrate themselves back into civilian life after their return from deployment, they also have faced some unique challenges.

You can find more information about the Canadian Army Reserve by clicking here.

You can learn more about the background of the documentary and LCol Mike Vernon by clicking here.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Vernon (left) volunteered for a mission in Afghanistan in 2010.
~Photo courtesy Canadian Armed Forces Combat Camera

About the Canadian Army Reserve

Reservists have made substantial contributions to Canada’s international and domestic operations. Since the year 2000, more than 4,000 Reservists from the Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force have been deployed in international expeditionary operations in:

  • Africa;
  • South-west Asia;
  • the Middle East;
  • the Caribbean, and
  • many other parts of the world.

Reservists have participated in domestic operations in many ways in recent years. They have:

  •  assisted with flood relief efforts in Quebec and Manitoba;
  •  fought forest fires in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia;
  •  assisted with hurricane relief efforts in Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • participated in recovery efforts following ice storms in eastern Canada; and
  • supported the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

In addition, Reservists often help at or participate in cultural events, parades, festivals, and other public events in their own and neighbouring communities across Canada, including Remembrance Day ceremonies.


President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Red Deer family rocked by cancer diagnosis seeks support from the community

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From the Facebook page of Nicole Maurier

With permission from Abby Marie Maurier I am reaching out to you today to let you know that my beautiful daughter Abigail has just been diagnosed with cancer. She has Lymphoma, which is cancer of the lymphatic system and she also has a large mass on her right lung.
What I’m asking for is a variety of support in these ways:
1. Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with cancer, specifically Lymphoma and do you have information you can share about treatement, top clinics etc.
2. Are you someone that has information that you can share towards her holistic healing? She will require postive lifestyle changes such as nutrition, meditative yoga, massage, etc.
3. Can you help support Abigail’s journey by contributing towards her fundraiser in order to help her prior to treatments, during and afterwards.
4. Your prayers, intentions, love and support is greatly appreciated
5. Please share this post so we can reach as many supporters as possible
I am a warrior Mama Bear on a mission to heal my daughter and I won’t stop at anything. I believe healing is possible, I believe in the power of community and love and I believe that together, all of us will help heal her in some special way.

From GoFundMe

Hello, my name is Nicole and I am fundraising for my beautiful daughter Abigail. Abigail was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma, which is cancer cells in the lymph system, and she also has a large mass on her right lung.
She is a young beautiful woman, age 24 and she graduated as a Cardio Tech in 2021 and has been enjoying her work at the hospital tending to cardio patients with the utmost love and care. She has just started her journey in life, residing with her long-term boyfriend Gus in their home with their 2 bunnies, Biggie and Peaches. Abigail also has a dog named Kyah, who is with her in the photo.
Anyone who has been blessed to cross paths with Abigail knows how special she is. She radiates light and love where ever she goes and has a heart of gold. Ever since she was a baby, I have called her my earth angel.
With her recent diagnosis and as her mother, I am asking for your help to please contribute what you can towards her journey with cancer. The funds will be used to allow her to take time off work and focus on her health and treatment. We are looking into a variety of cancer clinics in order to offer her the best outcome possible because she is so deserving of a life of longevity and living cancer free.
Another important part of Abigail’s healing is providing her with proper nutrients, wholesome foods, meditative yoga, massage therapy and other holistic treatments to strengthen her body which the funding will help support.
Your contribution is received with gratitude and appreciation and I thank you with all of my heart for your donation to help my daughter.
Nicole Maurier
Red Deer, AB
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Business leaders decide it’s time to reduce the number of homeless in Red Deer

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News release from the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce to form Task Force on Homelessness in Red Deer

The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce will be convening a Task Force of community and business leaders to address the issues of homelessness and identify actionable steps which can be taken to tackle this generational challenge in Red Deer.

“With the release of the City of Red Deer’s Point in Time (PIT) Report on homelessness last week we are very concerned and disappointed with the effectiveness of the strategies currently in place, and the urgency by which we need to turn this situation around within our city,” commented Scott Robinson CEO of the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. “Clearly our current strategies are not enough, and we need to elevate the urgency by which we get things done to reduce the number of citizens who are without a place to live. The growing number of people who are homeless is not sustainable and is impacting on our sense of pride, safety and attractiveness of our city to business and industry.”

“We will share more about this Task Force and the next steps in the coming weeks. Time has run out to act with conviction, courage, and clarity. Our community and citizens deserve that from our community leaders, and we are ready to bring the business community and the urgency required to the table.”

Over the next 60 days, the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce will be reaching out to its business and social agency partners to build the Task Force on homelessness and establish a strategy to address the critical steps that need to be taken to reverse the trends and further our community’s vision as a vibrant and healthy city.

Matt Cassidy, Chamber Board President. remarked “Our Chamber is positioned to be the collaborative leader in connecting our business community, social agencies, and elected officials together, to find tangible progress on this complex issue. All businesses rely on the vibrancy of our community as they strive to be sustainable, innovative, or grow, and the results of the PIT Report indicate that we need to do much more. This task force will help hold our leaders accountable for the actionable progress needed and engage one another effectively.”

“In speaking with our membership, and those working closely with the vulnerable populations there are best practices and models for delivery that are successful in other parts of the world that we need to start  implementing” says Robinson. In addition, we need to look at ways that our private sector can get more involved and bring their expertise and strategic thinking to the table. As a collaborative community we also need to ensure that governments at all levels are delivering on their promises of affordable housing and eliminating barriers to expediting these investments.

Established in 1894 the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan, collaborative business leader representing over 825 member businesses. As one of Red Deer’s oldest and most established membership organizations we are striving to build a vibrant community that fosters an environment where businesses can lead, be innovative, sustainable, and grow.

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