Canadian Military Volunteers Preparing to Help Syrian Refugees
In just a few days Canada will receive their first wave of refugees from Syria. Canada has been preparing for the influx and taking certain measures to ensure the safety of everyone. Preparing for the influx is a massive operation that involves several government agencies, community groups and our men and women in uniform.
There are five bases in Ontario and one in Quebec that will house thousands of Syrian families when they arrive in Canada. When the call to help the settlement process was sent out, hundreds of soldiers stepped up to donate their time and expertise.
In Toronto, 150 men and women from the 32 Canadian Brigade Group signed up to volunteer. By signing up for this volunteering program they are taking time off of their jobs outside of the military and also spending time away from their families.
The soldiers told the Global News that this is their duty, part of the uniform and part of the mandate as Canadian soldiers.
“In my role as a Canadian reservist, it is my job to protect Canadian citizens — which these refugees are going to become. And as well it is usually our duty to be called out on very short notice to be called out from our daytime lives, school, work, wherever to help out wherever the need is,” said Master Bombardier Jeffery Roos, of the 56th Field Artillery Regiment.
“So the degree of people that came out on such short notice and the amount of logistical planning that had to go through is very impressive and I am honoured to be a part of the Canadian military tradition in helping out this country and welcoming refugees.”
Many of the 150 soldiers that are volunteering for this programme work for the military part-time. These men and women have full-time jobs as doctors, lawyers, engineers, construction workers and teachers while some aim to become police officers.
Master Corp. Tyler Brunton of Queen’s York Rangers works in construction. He has said that his experience working onsite with a construction team will enhance his ability to help the Syrian families living at the base where he is stationed. It all comes down to teamwork.
“Working as a team will be a key number one thing whether we are working with teams within the military as well as working with all the other government organizations to help assist with these families,” he said.
“We will be working as a team with the families to help them integrate into the community.”
These men and women have been put through extensive training already and although the Canadian military has stepped forward, their role is still unclear.
The jobs that will be handled by the Canadian military will be based on immediate needs and adapting to the changing scenarios that they are expected to face each day.
“Canadian Forces personal are adaptable. We are trained and we conduct training in order to ensure we can deploy on a multitude of operations, a full spectrum of operations,” said Lieut. Lawrence Blake of the 48th Highlanders of Canada.
“So whether that is fighting a war overseas or peace keeping missions or its domestic response operations.”
The underlying motivation with this programme is the desire to help, which many people believe is just the Canadian way.