Army Fatigues... on the Plateau!

On this beautiful November day, I took my kids for a long walk through the Plateau. Everyday, I bike past a mural at the corner of Villeneuve and De Bullion but only realized last week that it extended right around the corner. This was my chance to finally go and take some pictures. (You can view the pictures of that mural below on my photostream.)That was our destination point this morning. As usual, we discovered something new that my children found exciting. Of all things, we came across an armed forces paramedics simulation.

Across from the building that once housed the CLSC St. Louis du Parc on St. Joseph sits a building called the 51st Field Ambulance. This is apparently where local troops of the Canadian Armed Forces get their field paramedics training. We witnessed a group of young women and men in their military fatigues open the back of a military truck and pull out a young woman on a stretcher. One of the people carrying the stretcher quickly asked if there were any spinal injuries and a few other questions and then they hauled the stretcher with the injured party into the building. I asked them if this was training for Afghanistan. I was told that it was training for there or anywhere in the world.

I was surprised to see the army's presence in our neighbourhood. Our exposure to the Canadian Armed Forces is limited to reports on the news of deaths in Afghanistan. There was a number of things that surprised me about these eight or so people. First of all, at least half of them were women. Secondly, they were extremely efficient, and finally, they were friendly and didn't mind us asking questions or taking pictures.

As we walked away, I realized that our troops in Afghanistan rarely had a human face until one of them died. In addition, these youthful, enthusiastic people whom I'd just spoken to might very well be shipped out for a tour of duty. I had an unsettling feeling for a few minutes when I realized that these same people might never return. What a colossal waste of youth, talent and life that would be.


John_Ward Leighton | November 8, 2009 at 3:55 PM



Heather | November 8, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Thought you might agree! H.

Ella Ida | December 14, 2009 at 2:44 AM

Generation before that, before that infinitum...

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