Local soldier helps restore Afghani peace

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Dan Hudson knows first-hand the pride and sense of duty that today's veterans have experienced.

The Flamborough native is a corporal and a mechanic in the Canadian Forces, currently serving a tour of duty in Kabul, Afghanistan. He's one of 1,000 soldiers deployed on Operation Athena, as a member of 2 General Support Battalion in Task Force Afghanistan's National Support Element.

This is the first overseas mission for the 28-year-old, who is stationed out of Petawawa. He joined the force in 2001, after a five-year term with the Infantry Reserves, which he joined after high school graduation.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself," he said. It was the father of a friend, who was serving for the Argylls while working for the Burlington Fire Department, who turned him on to the army. "I had several conversations with him," noted Cpl. Hudson. "He showed me the ropes and told me how to enlist."

The army has been a labour of love ever since. He loves the lifestyle of the army life, and the camaraderie.

"I like wearing the uniform to serve my country," he said proudly. "What do I love about the army? I could go on forever."

He especially enjoys the continual challenge. As technology and tactics advance, so does his training. "We're constantly being trained. It's never-ending," he said.

He joined the army to capitalize on that training. He knew the institution could provide him with a trade, so he signed up to become a mechanic. "It's something I've always been interested in," he said. "My uncle has a garage."

He uses his skills on a daily basis. Hot weather and poor road conditions are hard on the army's trucks and equipment, so he's called in to get the soldiers back on the road.

He also puts his soldiering skills to the test. He's responsible for daily duties such as gate sentry duty, operation reserve as part of camp security, air sentry for convoy security and crew commander of a vehicle.

The UN-approved mission is to provide security around the Afghani elections, he noted. "It's like a police action. We perform the same duties the police would."

Cpl. Hudson hasn't found the separation from home difficult so far. In Flamborough, he has parents and a sister. In Petawawa, he's left behind his wife of two years, Heidi, and their dog.

"It's a challenge for a newly-married couple," he said of the separation. "But the army takes care of its soldiers. We have everything we need to keep in touch."

The troops have access to phones and e-mail and are allowed daily contact with loved ones.

The separation is made that much easier with an understanding wife. Heidi is also in the Canadian Forces; she works in the office arranging retirements.

Having her in the army "absolutely makes things easier, because she's more on that side of the fence," said Cpl. Hudson. The pair met while he was on training in London.

Although he's looking forward to reuniting with his wife when his tour ends in February, he's up for whatever challenges are down the road, whether its continued training or another tour.

"It will give me more experience. That's why we joined," he said.

The troops in Afghanistan will pause for a moment of silence and a ceremony of their own this Remembrance Day, to honour the soldiers who went before them. Although Cpl. Hudson is unsure how his life compares to the life of a soldier from the world wars, he feels all soldiers, young and old, share a bond. "We all serve for the same flag and wear the same uniform."

Local soldier helps restore Afghani peace

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Dan Hudson knows first-hand the pride and sense of duty that today's veterans have experienced.

The Flamborough native is a corporal and a mechanic in the Canadian Forces, currently serving a tour of duty in Kabul, Afghanistan. He's one of 1,000 soldiers deployed on Operation Athena, as a member of 2 General Support Battalion in Task Force Afghanistan's National Support Element.

This is the first overseas mission for the 28-year-old, who is stationed out of Petawawa. He joined the force in 2001, after a five-year term with the Infantry Reserves, which he joined after high school graduation.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself," he said. It was the father of a friend, who was serving for the Argylls while working for the Burlington Fire Department, who turned him on to the army. "I had several conversations with him," noted Cpl. Hudson. "He showed me the ropes and told me how to enlist."

The army has been a labour of love ever since. He loves the lifestyle of the army life, and the camaraderie.

"I like wearing the uniform to serve my country," he said proudly. "What do I love about the army? I could go on forever."

He especially enjoys the continual challenge. As technology and tactics advance, so does his training. "We're constantly being trained. It's never-ending," he said.

He joined the army to capitalize on that training. He knew the institution could provide him with a trade, so he signed up to become a mechanic. "It's something I've always been interested in," he said. "My uncle has a garage."

He uses his skills on a daily basis. Hot weather and poor road conditions are hard on the army's trucks and equipment, so he's called in to get the soldiers back on the road.

He also puts his soldiering skills to the test. He's responsible for daily duties such as gate sentry duty, operation reserve as part of camp security, air sentry for convoy security and crew commander of a vehicle.

The UN-approved mission is to provide security around the Afghani elections, he noted. "It's like a police action. We perform the same duties the police would."

Cpl. Hudson hasn't found the separation from home difficult so far. In Flamborough, he has parents and a sister. In Petawawa, he's left behind his wife of two years, Heidi, and their dog.

"It's a challenge for a newly-married couple," he said of the separation. "But the army takes care of its soldiers. We have everything we need to keep in touch."

The troops have access to phones and e-mail and are allowed daily contact with loved ones.

The separation is made that much easier with an understanding wife. Heidi is also in the Canadian Forces; she works in the office arranging retirements.

Having her in the army "absolutely makes things easier, because she's more on that side of the fence," said Cpl. Hudson. The pair met while he was on training in London.

Although he's looking forward to reuniting with his wife when his tour ends in February, he's up for whatever challenges are down the road, whether its continued training or another tour.

"It will give me more experience. That's why we joined," he said.

The troops in Afghanistan will pause for a moment of silence and a ceremony of their own this Remembrance Day, to honour the soldiers who went before them. Although Cpl. Hudson is unsure how his life compares to the life of a soldier from the world wars, he feels all soldiers, young and old, share a bond. "We all serve for the same flag and wear the same uniform."

Local soldier helps restore Afghani peace

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Dan Hudson knows first-hand the pride and sense of duty that today's veterans have experienced.

The Flamborough native is a corporal and a mechanic in the Canadian Forces, currently serving a tour of duty in Kabul, Afghanistan. He's one of 1,000 soldiers deployed on Operation Athena, as a member of 2 General Support Battalion in Task Force Afghanistan's National Support Element.

This is the first overseas mission for the 28-year-old, who is stationed out of Petawawa. He joined the force in 2001, after a five-year term with the Infantry Reserves, which he joined after high school graduation.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself," he said. It was the father of a friend, who was serving for the Argylls while working for the Burlington Fire Department, who turned him on to the army. "I had several conversations with him," noted Cpl. Hudson. "He showed me the ropes and told me how to enlist."

The army has been a labour of love ever since. He loves the lifestyle of the army life, and the camaraderie.

"I like wearing the uniform to serve my country," he said proudly. "What do I love about the army? I could go on forever."

He especially enjoys the continual challenge. As technology and tactics advance, so does his training. "We're constantly being trained. It's never-ending," he said.

He joined the army to capitalize on that training. He knew the institution could provide him with a trade, so he signed up to become a mechanic. "It's something I've always been interested in," he said. "My uncle has a garage."

He uses his skills on a daily basis. Hot weather and poor road conditions are hard on the army's trucks and equipment, so he's called in to get the soldiers back on the road.

He also puts his soldiering skills to the test. He's responsible for daily duties such as gate sentry duty, operation reserve as part of camp security, air sentry for convoy security and crew commander of a vehicle.

The UN-approved mission is to provide security around the Afghani elections, he noted. "It's like a police action. We perform the same duties the police would."

Cpl. Hudson hasn't found the separation from home difficult so far. In Flamborough, he has parents and a sister. In Petawawa, he's left behind his wife of two years, Heidi, and their dog.

"It's a challenge for a newly-married couple," he said of the separation. "But the army takes care of its soldiers. We have everything we need to keep in touch."

The troops have access to phones and e-mail and are allowed daily contact with loved ones.

The separation is made that much easier with an understanding wife. Heidi is also in the Canadian Forces; she works in the office arranging retirements.

Having her in the army "absolutely makes things easier, because she's more on that side of the fence," said Cpl. Hudson. The pair met while he was on training in London.

Although he's looking forward to reuniting with his wife when his tour ends in February, he's up for whatever challenges are down the road, whether its continued training or another tour.

"It will give me more experience. That's why we joined," he said.

The troops in Afghanistan will pause for a moment of silence and a ceremony of their own this Remembrance Day, to honour the soldiers who went before them. Although Cpl. Hudson is unsure how his life compares to the life of a soldier from the world wars, he feels all soldiers, young and old, share a bond. "We all serve for the same flag and wear the same uniform."