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Oakville's War Monument Now Honours Canadian Reservists

Oakville's Afghanistan Veterans: Oakville News | Oakville News

Once a year, we gather to pay our respects to the soldiers, sailors and air crew’s that gave their lives in the pursuit of victory in the wars, conflicts and operations Canada has engaged in. Engagements from the World Wars, Peacekeeping Missions of the United Nations & NATO, and most recently Afghanistan. Although they are eternally grateful for the respect given to them every Remembrance Day, their contributions have far exceeded what is known to the average Canadian. They have been the focus of both pride and scrutiny, but every one of them is human, with their own unique and amazing story. Not only are they some of the world’s best war fighters, but the Canadian Army also ensures the world is a better place for everyone by sending soldiers out on humanitarian and peace keeping missions around the globe.

Coming into the spotlight in recent years are the Army Reserves. Often burdened by a lack of publicity, the Canadian Army Reserve has brought great credit to the Canadian Army. Answering the call to go to far off lands, they also maintain lives here at home, as regular everyday people; some may even be your neighbor. They are soldiers on the front line in the conflicts around the globe. At home they are bankers, fire fighters, police officers, crime scene investigators, emergency management experts, teachers, students, pilots, contractors, apprentices, store managers, electricians and volunteers.

While American media often portrays their own Army Reservists as nearly incompetent. On the Canadian side of the border Reservists are often envied for their diverse experience. Canadian Army Reservists who have deployed on Peacekeeping missions have proven to be uniquely skilled at communicating with the populations and gathering intelligence from the locals. Their unique skill sets are invaluable to the Army as a whole.

Close to home is the Lorne Scots Regiment, they live and work in the regions of Peel, Dufferin and Halton. The Regiment, one of the oldest in Canada, has served in almost every conflict the Canadian Army has engaged in. From homeland defense in the War of 1812, the Battle of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights; to Afghanistan where nearly 50 citizen soldiers have served in the past 12 years. They are the front line in homeland defense, and often the front line in foreign conflicts. The Lorne Scots have served here since before the communities they serve were incorporated.

Here at home, they train and serve in Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Halton Hills, Milton and Dufferin County, and have since the days the first settlers took up arms in the defense of their homes. Honour and tradition are rooted deep in their heritage. In ancient Rome, victorious armies were given the Freedom of the City, which was the right for the Regiment to march down the City streets with Drums and Weapons. The tradition still carries on in modern day Armies around the world, the Lorne Scots have the honour of the Freedom of the Cities of Oakville, Brampton, Halton Hills, Milton, Toronto and the Communities of Dufferin County. For obvious reasons, their weapons are not loaded; nor do they just march down Main Street without at least coordinating with the city officials and the police.

Lieutenant-Colonel Duane Hickson, CD, of Oakville is the Commanding Officer of the Lorne Scots Regiment.

Lieutenant-Colonel Duane Hickson, CD, of Oakville is the Commanding Officer of the Lorne Scots Regiment.

Front and Centre : Lieutenant-Colonel Duane Hickson CO of Oakville leads this extraordinary Regiment. A veteran of 25 years in the Canadian Army and a veteran of operations in Afghanistan, Lieutenant-Colonel Hickson is the mark of professionalism and dedication in the Canadian Army. When he’s not serving his country, he’s serving his community as an Acting-Captain of the Toronto Fire Services. His name now appears on Oakville’s Wall of Veterans.

These are our soldiers, defenders of our country, citizens of our community. Neighbours. Friends. Co-workers. Everyday heroes holding the door open for the person behind them, giving pedestrians a smile as they walk by, they may have you fooled into believing they are just ordinary people, but they have their “superhero” costume at home, wearing it once a week and sometimes for months as they deploy anywhere they are needed.

Humble as they are, they continue to receive the support of the people and the community. Most communities have chosen to present them with the Freedom of the City, but some communities have gone even further. In 2011, the Town of Halton Hills dedicated the road leading into the Georgetown Fairgrounds as Lorne Scots Way. Mayor Susan Fennell of Brampton has contributed to the Lorne Scots Pipes & Drums Band by helping to purchase their uniforms through her Community Fund.

This year the Town of Oakville made an addition to their War Monument which includes the names of Oakville natives who have served our nation in conflicts around the world since World War II, including some Lorne Scots. They don’t ask for it, but they do appreciate it.

For more information on the Regiment, please visit them on the web at