By Major Rob Hume
15 January 2010
Christmas found B Squadron again this year. Spirits were quite high, even though most silently wished that they could be home with family to celebrate the season. Nevertheless, we made the best of our situation celebrating together.
We were blessed to have visitors on Christmas Eve, bringing additional Christmas cheer and small piece of Canadiana. More specifically, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Natynczyk, the Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer (CFCWO), CWO Lacroix, visited and brought a number of friends from Canada, including The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Laurie Hawn, comedian Mike Macdonald and singer Melanie Dekker.
The evening started with the CDS serving a traditional turkey dinner followed by his address to the troops. This was followed by the CDS and CFCWO presenting their personal coins for exemplarily service to three deserving soldiers. B Squadron’s own Cpl Dean O’Toole was one of those special three.
Mike Macdonald put a smile on everyone’s face with his “soldier friendly” comedic style (those of us lucky enough to be here for the performance know what I mean when I say “soldier friendly”). Melanie Dekker similarly connected with the crowd only this songstress achieved it through some soulful melodies, a collection of both her original material and some old rock and roll cover tunes. Again, these two great performers allowed those in attendance to forget about the serious business for a short while.
All in all, Christmas on the FOB was an enjoyable experience that I think most if not all in attendance will remember fondly. With the exception of spending Christmas with my family, there was no other place I would rather have been then with my other family, B Squadron. I will close with wishing you and your families with a safe and rewarding 2010.