A local veteran has spoken about his experiences in the Canadian military ahead of Remembrance Day.
Darren Longstaff was a Sergeant in the Canadian Armed Forces. He had also been in the reserves and even on a few peacekeeping missions.
“I joined the reserves in ’83, but I was an army cadet before that in Kelowna,” said Longstaff. “I did a lot of history and stuff, which led me towards the military side of my life.”
Longstaff stated that while being in the military had its ups and downs, he wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
“I was lucky enough to deploy to places like Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan in 2002. I was one of the first ones there,” added Longstaff. “It was definitely different than the peacekeeping missions I had been on before. It will definitely be on my mind for the rest of my life.”
Longstaff retired from the military in 2008, and that same year he joined up with the Legion in Gibbons.
“It’s all volunteer. You put in as much as you want. It’s all about veterans and supporting the community.”
Since retiring, Longstaff had served as a paramedic and a volunteer firefighter.
“I’m not sure if it was my upbringing or reading all those history books.”
Longstaff also spoke about the importance of Remembrance Day in Canada.
“It’s the one day of the year where it’s internationally recognized. It’s a day to remember those that have fallen in the name of freedom and peace,” said Longstaff. “For a lot of us, Remembrance Day is a lot more than the one day, though. It’s pretty much every day.”
“If people tend to forget the sacrifices of the past, then they’re most likely to repeat them in the future.”