Monday, November 28, 2011

My weekend with a military family at the 99th Grey Cup

This was one of the most amazing weekends I have ever had and wanted to say THANK YOU for everyone that voted for Cpl Ian Spingle for the all star dad contest as without those votes it wouldn't have happened.  My big surprise for Ian was that I knew a few days before that game that there was a chance we would meet Gene Simmons & Shannon Tweed two people who have been such an awesome help with several of my websites projects but wanted to surprise him.

So just before half time I showed him he text message I had gotten from Shannon and his face made the entire weekend.  Thank You to Gene & Shannon for inviting us up to your suite and making an already memorable night just that much more amazing.
Dave Murphy - Gene Simmons & Cpl Ian Spingle 


I took this video at the 99th Grey Cup this past weekend in Vancouver and posting on here for people to see.  The tribute before hand to soldiers who just returned from operations in Libya was deafening and every time they showed the many troops in attendance on the big screen people would cheer which was great to see.

I also want to say thank you to Dove Canada for hosting the All Star Dad contest, the Hyatt Downtown Vancouver and ofcourse the CFL for all making this one of the most amazing weekends I've ever had but for and allowing me to spend the weekend with this military family.

Again, thank you so much to everyone who voted on the All Star Dad Contest more than anything when I first posted this I didn't even know I would be going was just trying to help a military wife.  Little did I know it would be one of the most amazing weekends of my life.

Me with Cpl Ian Spingle & his faher

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Remembrance Day according to my 7yr old niece

My seven year old niece wrote this at school after her Remembrance Day Ceremony

I am one proud uncle

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Military veteran giving back to soldiers

I wanted to share with everyone a project started by a good friend of mine Chris Dupee. I met Chris a few years ago through my website and when I heard he was going on a tour of duty to Afghanistan I sent out an email at work and quickly people began dropping off items to my desk to send over. Although I have never met Chris in person, I support his project 100% and wanted to share with you his new YouTube video for his project and write up which was featured in the York Region Newspaper.

Military veteran giving back to soldiers
By Teresa Latchford

November 8, 2011 Credit -
Cpl. Chris Dupee is giving back to the community when he’s not serving his country.
The Huron Heights Secondary School graduate has served a tour in Afghanistan and is currently posted with a reserve unit in Toronto. While he can’t pinpoint the reason why he wanted to become a soldier, he has always felt compelled to do as much as he can for his community and his country. 

After returning from his seven-month tour,  he was struck by the struggle of a new generation of veterans to find employment.

That laid the groundwork for his company Military Minds — a GTA powerwashing firm staffed exclusivley with former military personnel.
“I wanted to do something to help,” he said.
Mr. Dupee also donates 10 per cent of company revenues to the Canadian Hero Fund. The charitable organization supports military personnel and their families, including the construction and dedication of memorials and providing scholarships to children and spouses of fallen Canadian soldiers.

“I want to ensure everything is being done so the legend of these soldiers, and what they gave, lives on,” he said, explaining how his friend Pte. Kevin Kennedy, who was killed by a roadside-bomb explosion near Kandahar City in 2007, continues to be his driving force.
He also organizes charity events to raise funds for the organization, the first of which was held on Main Street in Newmarket this summer. The car wash raised $1,200 for the fund. Cpl. Dupee was so energized by the success of the first event that he decided to organize a larger event Nov. 26 at Dub Linn Gate in Vaughan.
“This is just the beginning of many,” he said. “If I can make the smallest difference in someone’s life, it’s all worth it.”
The evening, Military Minds Round 2, starts at 5 p.m. with an appearance by world- class arm wrestling champion Ian Carnegie. Patrons can challenge him to a match by making a donation to the cause.

The rest of the night will consist of an auction and live entertainment, including performances by country singer Julian Austin, the band No Duff and guest DJs.

“Sponsors have also bought tables for soldiers to attend the event and they will be picked up in a limo,” he said. “They will have a great night of fun.”  Aurora resident Chris MacDonald of CMac Designs is donating his time to market the event and said he has nothing but respect and love for people like Cpl. Dupee.
“I have lost a cousin, too,” he said. “He is a great guy and it’s inspiring to see what he is doing.”
He thinks the efforts are not just for the soldiers and veterans. He admires Cpl. Dupee for attempting to raise awareness of what is happening right now to youths who are close to home.
“I felt I should help this way since I can’t do what Cpl. Dupee and other soldiers have done for our rights and freedoms,” he said. “Through him, I am still contributing. He is a hero in so many ways.”


At the end of December it will be the third year since "Thank A Soldier" was launched on Facebook and wanted to do something special on our site to celebrate this.

In the next month with the help of John Cornegge from ThinkOrange Media  we are going to be launching the "International Wall Of Gratitude" on

Last year on YouTube we launched "The Gratitude Project" which had an amazing response but also took over six months to create the series of ten YouTube videos. On YouTube recently we also launched "Operation You Are Not Alone" a PTSD awareness campaign to let our men and women returning from deployment that its ok to ask for help.
In the next few months there will be many soldiers returning home to their families and I thought it would be nice to do another project with people holding "Welcome Home" signs.

That being said I am going to be combining all these efforts in to one group photo album on

Thank You & Welcome Home Photos : Similar to what people sent for "The Gratitude Project" users can post photos holding Thank You signs and Welcome Home signs, and also post a brief message as well as their location if they wish to do so.  Users will have to login via Facebook to post photos but do not have to sign up for a username and password on the website.

Family Member Tributes : If users have lost any loved ones or friends serving overseas they can post their photo with a small write up about them and other users will have the option to leave a message of condolence to the family if they choose to do so.  The few family members of fallen soldiers I have talked to about this like this idea as they can post their favorite photo of their loved one to show a different side of them.  This will also make the Wall Of Gratitude something truly special

Operation You Are Not Alone : Due to the fact that it took almost six months to create The Gratitude Project YouTube series, all photos I have received for this I will be posting on this page and helping to spread the awareness of Operational Stress & PTSD

Online Gallery : If people don't have the access to take a photo for this page and just want to post a message of thanks to our troops they can select from a gallery of photos that will be preloaded to the website to choose from.

With every photo people will have the option to "Like" and share on Facebook & Twitter pages and will be 100% user interactive.

If you would like to submit a photo prior to the this page being launched you can send them to

Thank You and stay tuned

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Langley Youth For The Fallen - A Walk To Remember

Langley Youth For The Fallen - A Walk To Remember was an initiative started by Michael & Elizabeth Pratt as a way for the youth of Langley, B.C to honour of fallen soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001.  158 trees (one for each of our fallen soldiers) will be planted along with a Cenotaph showing each of the names.

In January 2011 two youths from Langley, BC approached their city hall about planting a tree for every Canadian soldier who has fallen in Afghanistan. Their family had been touched by both WWI and WWII as their great, great grandfather had been killed in WWI and with a Great Uncle fighting in WWII. 

As well, Michael, a grade 9 student, had visited Juno Beach in the Summer and saw many memorials for fallen soldiers and thought we needed to do something in Canada where Canadians could pay their respects to fallen soldiers year round, not just at Remembrance Day. 

Elizabeth, 20, had performed at the Royal Nova Scotia Military Tattoo when she was in grade 11 and met soldiers from around the world. She was touched by how young they were and saddened to learn of the many of their friends - not much older than her - who had died in battle. Based on her experience at the Tattoo and Michael's in Normandy, they decided they had to do something to remember the soldiers who had sacrificed their lives to make for a better future for the youth of the world. Information regarding sponsoring a tree (for $300) can be found on their Facebook page: Langley Youth for the Fallen or by emailing Michael or Elizabeth 

"We don't have any money for advertising or anything like that and so it is entirely by word of mouth. We have about 80 sponsorships so far and so are more than halfway there! We received a lot in the past two weeks leading up to Remembrance Day and hope we can keep our momentum going. We had a planting ceremony on November 11th for 71 trees and it went really well." says Elizabeth Pratt  

Each tree sponsorship costs $300 which covers the cost of the tree, ongoing maintenance, and a contribution to the central cenotaph and plaques for the Walk to Remember. Sponsors will get their names engraved on a commemorative plaque.

If you would like a personal tax receipt:

Township of Langley
4700 – 224th Street,
Langley, BC V2Z 1N4
Attention: Al Neufeld

Please put in the memo line of the cheque: "A Walk to Remember" and make sure to include your name and return address in a note.

If you are a company and do not need a tax receipt:

Arboretum and Botanical Society of Langley (or just "ABSL" for short)
Box 315, 20465 Douglas Cres.
Langley, BC V3A 4B6

Please put in the memo line of the cheque: "A Walk to Remember"

Click here to go to the LYF Facebook page

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Soldier Surprise Puck Drop - Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins have done it again, check out this pre-game ceremony from tonights game Vs. The Buffalo Sabres. This is not the first the time Bruins have done something special for our military, you can check out a previous write up I did "Why I respect The Boston Bruins & Bobby Orr"

Enjoy and Thank You Bruins

Here is the interview with the family after the game.

Friday, November 11, 2011

These graceful, weathered hands that fought

This picture is so simple yet speaks volumes to me.

These graceful, weathered hands that fought so valiantly for all the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today may have had to take a life, they may have carried an injured soldier.... and they likely also gently held their wife's hand, rocked their babies to sleep, and tickled many grandchildren.

Now they clutch a cane. I can't see your face. I don't know who you are. I don't know your story and can only imagine all that you have seen, done & survived. Yet, I feel overwhelming gratitude and respect for you and all that you stand for.

Thank you to the Peacekeepers who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Thank you to the Peacekeepers who came home unquestionably changed and continued to contribute to our world.
Thank you to the Peacekeepers that courageously continue to risk it all so that we may all continue to thrive in the greatest country in the world. The True North, Strong & Free. THANK YOU. I will never forget.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today I went back to school

Remember when you were in high school and you had that one guest speaker that would come in to talk to your school nearing Remembrance Day that would always stick with you for the rest of your life. Well today 17 years after graduating high school that happened to me.

I was invited to Crescent Heights High School in Calgary, Alberta to hear Cpl Vince Fowlers Remembrance Day presentation to grade 9 to 12s. The gymnasium seated about 1200 students which found their way to their seats pretty quick.

After singing O’Canada, a song by the school choir and a reading of “In Flanders Fields” by a student Vince Fowler started his presentation.

He told his story of how when he was in grade six and he saw a photo of a soldier jumping out of a plane he knew right then he wanted to be a Paratrooper. He as a member of the PPCLI served in Somalia and showed some photos from his time with the Canadian Forces.

He then made an observation that only about 10% of the students were wearing poppies even though there were students giving them out at the door and put the question out as to “Why Not”

Vince then started showing photos of celebrities on his slide show and quizzed the students as to what they knew about Tom Cruise, Henry Burris, Lady Gaga and then when Justin Biebers photo was put on the screen there was a chorus of screams from the females in attendance. People were rattling off all the answers and then he put the photo of a WW1 veteran on the screen and ONE student out of the 1200 in the gymnasium knew who this man was. He was a fighter pilot that died serving our country and was an alumni of Crescent Heights.

Vince then after noticing some students were starting to get a little restless asked the entire gym to close their eyes and imagine the one person they loved the most was on the phone with them from Afghanistan. Telling them how they were getting leave early and would be home for Christmas but not to tell the family.

Then in his slide show presentation came the sounds of an IED exploding, followed by machine guns and then said to everyone in the gym “That person you were just speaking with is gone” you could hear a pin drop. Looking around there were some students is tears as people don’t really take the time to think about whether you are for or against why our troops are in Afghanistan they are somebodies father, mother, brother, or sister.

He then went to a group of girls in the school and asked them if they enjoyed going to school and told them they couldn’t go anymore. Asked them if they disagreed with him and he said if this was Afghanistan before our troops went there you would be killed not only for wanting to continue to go to school but for going against the Taliban.

I’ve been running and other efforts for our troops for almost five years now and today hit me. If you had asked me before today if anyone notable went to my high school i would have told you Allanis Morrisette and Dan Akroyd but now after today I will be searching to see what veterans went to my high school and look up the history of that. For that I wanted to say thank you to Cpl Vince Fowler for making me realize that. For that few seconds, I felt like I was back in high school and had some home work of my own to do.

For me Remembrance Day has always been a special day and especially in the last few years, meeting so many families of our fallen soldiers and introducing them to each other. I am by no means perfect, I’m human and today’s presentation has made me look at Remembrance day in a whole knew light.

I can only hope that some of the students that attended that today were as affected as I was, and judging by the looks on their faces when it was over and hearing some of the conversations taking place, I know they were.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MCpl Elton Adams - What A Soldier Left Behind

MCpl Elton Adams – What A Soldier Left Behind


MCpl Elton Adams was born and raised in Roddickton, Newfoundland, Canada. At the age of seventeen Elton Adam enrolled inthe Canadian Forces. During his first six years was employed with the First Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Shilo Manitoba. While serving with this Regiment worked in both B and C batteries and ventured to Bosnia on Roto 7. It was also at this time hestarted to write his own music.

While with the Artillery he played and sang for the troops all of the time. In Bosnia his band, “Guns and Hose’s”(this was our band name because the Artillery had the big-guns and we practiced in a Fire hall—hose’s) opened up for the CANCON show. Domestically, he had a band called, Dirty Laundry and performed for almost all of the Regiments functions, private parties, and local bars.HPIM0190

he has served his country for over eight years and a Military Police-Officer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With only two years in the Military police trade received notification that he was to embark on a seven month tour to Afghanistan. Further, he would need to complete 8-months of work-up training in Edmonton before the tour began.

One of the songs Elton wrote, “What a Soldier Left Behind” was heard by his supervisors and the response was extremely positive. It lead to performing at our farewell parade on January 17th 2008. There were over 2000 personnel present for the parade, both soldiers and their families. The song became and is still growing into a big hit amongst the Canadian Forces community. Elton was presented with my Colonel and General’s commendation for the song.

On March 20th 2008, I performed, “What a Soldier Left Behind”, in Afghanistan with Canada’s beloved rock band, Blue Rodeo, at our “support the troops” concert, again the response was incredible. Elton received General Hillier’s, (our retired Chief of Defence Staff) commendation and I received many thank-you’s from my fellow soldiers, civilian employees and retired NHL Players (Doug Gilmour sent me a signed jersey) who were present at the show. It was unforgettable. Now that I’m back from Afghanistan I have finished recording my first album at Denmark Productions and I have just signed a major deal with music distribution company Matchbox Recordings. Matchbox Recordings will be releasing my album in the UK on March 2, 2009. ” - Elton Adams

Calgary Liquor store has a special Remembrance Day Message

A friend of mine today pointed me to a online liquor store website in which their holiday flyer had an important reminder for Remembrance Day. When John Mcrae penned the words to "In Flanders Fields" there was no mention of beneath the liquor bottles row by row the poppies grow. I went out after seeing this and picked up a copy of 'The Calgary Herald" and sure enough here was the Remembrance Day Flyer for this Liquor store which made me sick to my stomach to look at.

Now I am one person who believes in freedom of speech and our veterans give us the freedom to say what we like, and yes this ad may be a ironic play on words, however at the bottom of the ad which is in every copy of The Calgary Herald today there is a poppy growing in the field of liquor.

There are six locations listed in this ad in Calgary, Alberta all of which I know will never get any of my business. I've included the bottom of the ad with phone numbers to all locations incase anyone would like to give them a call and tell them your thoughts. I could not find a contact us link on their webpage.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Toronto Maple Leafs - Remembrance Day Tribute

The Maple Leafs are by far one of the most loved and one of the most disliked teams in the NHL, however one thing everyone can agree on is their support for our veterans and currently serving soldiers is 2nd to none in the NHL.

Every home game Luke Schenn gives two tickets to a military family and during the third period of each game they are honored on the big screen in a segment called "Lukes Troops". The Leafs have also held many "Military Appreciation Nights" and last year released a line of military related Leafs gear with 25% of proceeds going to the Military Families Fund & The Leafs have also gone on morale visits to soldiers serving in Afghanistan

Tonight was another example of this with their Remembrance Day Tribute before their game against the Florida Panthers.

I am proud as always to be a Maple Leafs fan and ceremonies such as this make that a little easier

How will you remember them

I wanted to share a Remembrance Day video made by a good friend of mine Matthew Worth called "How will you remember them" A very well done and powerful video. Matthew is a member of the Canadian Forces and has been making tribute videos for several years and this one is amazing.

Please check it out.

This Friday November 11th, please take the time to go to one of the ceremonies taking place in your community. If you have to work, please pause for a moment of silence at 11:00am to remember the men and women who gave their lives so that we have the freedoms we enjoy today.

Thank You

Monday, November 7, 2011

Memorial Drive Crosses - Calgary, Alberta

Hundrds of white crosses were placed along Memorial Drive on Sunday in honour of fallen soldiers.

For those of you not in the Calgary region I've uploaded a video to YouTube that takes you on a walk through of the crosses on Memorial Drive or Remembrance Day. The names of the fallen soldiers from the region are named on all the crosses.

If you live in Calgary please be sure to pay the memorial a visit during the next week as it is taken down shorty after Remembrance Day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ordinary People - Extraordinary Efforts

With Remembrance Day in Canada Day & Veterans Day in the USA approaching fast I wanted to share some positive things people and organizations are doing for our Veterans and currently serving soldiers. When we see something negative with regards to either of these days it spreads like wildfire on Twitter & Facebook which is good in a way as it means people are standing up for our men and women serving.

Most recently a bar in Calgary using Remembrance Day to promote a wild night before party that you "Won't Remember", people vandalizing a War Memorial or someone out east stealing a Legion Poppy Box.

That being said I want to change things up again and spread the word about these great groups doing positive things for our heroes for Remembrance Day and all year round.

Canadian Hero Fund : 11 for 11
The Canadian Hero fund was founded by university students and is a grassroots charity dedicated to assisting military families of fallen soldiers
Remembrance Day Campaign :

Sunnybrook Foundation - Operation Raise A Flag

Join us in honouring Canada's Veterans this Remembrance Day by donating a flag in their name and sending a message of thanks for their courage and sacrifice.

Operation Raise a FlagThe flags will be placed on the lawn in front of Sunnybrook's Veterans Centre on November 11 so Canada's Veterans can see that citizens across the country recognize and value their courageous contributions.

Flags are available in 2 sizes for a $20 or $50 donation and are eligible for a tax receipt.

Click here to Raise A Flag

Pennies For Patriotism :

Autumn Hagyard has been helping our troops penny by penny for more than a year.

The Grade 5 student has collected nearly $5,000 in a Pennies for Patriotism campaign to purchase prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs for soldiers who suffered wounds in Afghanistan.

What started as a homework assignment, has snowballed into a life-changing campaign.

"I chose this project because a lot of my past family members were in the war. I learned about patriotism and how people go out there and fight for us, so that we don't have to," said Hagyard, 10, who added her grandparents served in the military.


Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude :

An all year round morale project that sends care packages to American soldiers serving in operations around the world. I have worked very closesly with the people behind this organization and have heard from many soldiers who have received care packages from them. Operation Gratitude is always happy to help with projects we do as well

Website :

Hero To Hero - Team Canada :

The HeroToHero.US and Hero To Hero Team Canada Troop Morale Campaign is first responders giving the shirts off their backs to show their non-political support for our deployed troops.

NO Politics ~ NO Pro/Antiwar Stances ~ NO Borders to our Allies

“The mission of HeroToHero.US and Hero To Hero Team Canada is to be a conduit between Heroes, past and present, be they Firefighter, Law Enforcement, or Military. We support their missions, their morale, and the loved ones most impacted by their sacrifices."

Please share the following post on your Twitter & Facebook pages and help get the word out about these other groups doing amazing things. We of course have our "Just Say Thanks" campaign on going and will be Retweeting all posts I see on Twitter in relation to Remembrance Day and Veterans Day so feel free to send me anything you would like reposted.

Thank You