I am originally from Neepawa, Manitoba. My father worked for Canadian National Railway, and as a result, we lived in several small towns in southern Manitoba as I was growing up. I currently reside in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I moved to Ottawa, Ontario in 1977 and from there, at the age of 24, as a single parent, I joined the Military. My trade was Mobile Support Equipment Operator. I served proudly from 1977 to 2011.

My first posting was to Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a Mobile Support Equipment Operator I operated staff cars, buses, tractor trailers, heavy equipment such as snow plows and snow blowers and aircraft refueling equipment.

I was posted to Ottawa, Ontario in 1986. In Ottawa I worked as a driver in General Purpose Vehicles and Heavy Cargo and as a dispatcher. I also worked as an assistant to the Career Managers at National Defence Headquarters. In August of 1988 I was on a Continuous French Course for a year. I was promoted to the rank of Master Corporal in early 1991 It was in Ottawa where I was selected for a Peacekeeping Mission in the Golan Heights, Israel with the United Nations Disengagement Observation Force.

In 1991 I was posted to CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba. I retired from the Regular Force in 1996. From there I joined the Reserves. In 2008 I was promoted to Sergeant. I was employed at 1 Canadian Air Division as Assistant to the Air Force Fleet manager. I retired at the age of 60 in 2011.


United Nations Disengagement Observation Force
Golan Heights, Israel
05 June 1990 to 03 December 1990

I was deployed to the Golan Heights from June to December of 1990. We were only the second draft to include females.

Golan Heights is at the Area of Separation between Israel and Syria. Although they are only a few miles apart, culturally they are years apart. As women we had a very strict code of dress when we crossed the Area of Separation into Syria. Our uniform came with shorts as we were in the Middle East but when going to Syria we were not allowed to wear shorts, we had to wear the long pants.

When at the Market Place in Syria we would be accompanied by men and most speaking would be done by the men. There were some scary moments when you could see some of the men looking at you with what felt like hatred. One great exception was a gentleman was walking with a young girl who appeared to be around seven. He was pushing her towards me, encouraging her to talk to me. I went to her and gave her a Canada pin.

Once I was tasked to take 4 trucks close to the Area of Separation as there was a piece of heavy equipment digging a ditch there. The Observers had been told it was an irrigation ditch but the dimensions suggested an anti tank ditch. This was in contravention of the 1974 agreement to not make a certain area on either side of the Area of Separation any more Military ready. We went out and surrounded the piece of heavy equipment so he couldn't continue to dig. At this point there were Syrian and UN soldiers in attendance. As I got out of the truck and reached back for my flack jacket and then my weapon the Syrian soldier remarked "holy (expletive) women and weapons." For the duration of the time there I had to call on a male Private to pass on everything I said even though the Syrian soldier was standing right in front of me.

There also were a few instances of this on the Israeli side but for the most part we were treated with respect. I did get asked why my husband would allow me to come here. Once I had a man ask me if he could back up my truck as he didn't think a woman could back up a big truck.

One of my fondest memories was when I was in Haifa. I was stopped in a residential area and I saw, coming towards me, three young boys. One was riding a bike, one a horse and one a donkey. That pretty much summed up life in Israel for me.