Monday, June 25, 2012

Canadian Army Veteran Fined for flying Canadian Flag

What if you were told that you weren't allowed to fly the very flag our men and women died to protect your right to do so?  W

Well that is what happened to an Edmonton, Alberta couple who were fined $250.00 for flying a Canadian Flag cone on their condo balcony.

The couple immigrated from Italy and Bill Nienhuis joined the Canadian Armed forces in 1951, he was told that the flag violated condo bylaws.  Not only that after putting up posters to gain support they were fined another $250 for littering.

Here is a note from their daughter Donna E Nienhuis : 
My parents lived there for 7 years. and it was a Canadian Flag wind sock, Then after 7 years, My parents come home and there is a fine under there door for the Flag, They were given NO warning to this.Then My father was fined a other $250.00 for Trying to get support from this. Then when my father and uncle went into the condo meeting, They would NOT even address this situation! They said that they have more right's then parliament...And would not even hear what they had to say... Since this has been on Trouble Shooter, They are no where to be found... Has usually. What i would like to see is a support of people on Canada Day At there building, And proudly Sing Our Anthem.

From Global TV Edmonton : 

An act of patriotism has left an Edmonton couple out $250. The condo board fined them for hanging a wind sock displaying the Canadian flag on their balcony.

“I was very upset, yes,” says Franca Nienhuis, “because I am a very proud Canadian.”

The couple has had the flag on their balcony since they moved in seven years ago.

Bill and Franca Nienhuis say they hadn’t received any complaints before a letter a from the condo board arrived last June; fining them for the offence.

“Then I get a notice, a fine $250,” recalls Franca.

"A flag is part of the freedom of our country and we should be able to fly that anytime, anywhere,” says Bill.

The complex says it was against the condo bylaws. Franca’s brother Carl feels the flag is something every Canadian should have the freedom to fly.

“It shows your appreciation of the men and women who went through the war to keep us safe...isn't that a good reason?"

He brought that up to the board at a meeting, and claims board members wouldn’t reverse their decision.

“They told me they were not interested.”

The outraged family put notices under neighbours’ doors asking for support. The management company then fined the couple another $250 for littering.

“Somebody must have put it in the hallway,” explains Franca, “so he was charged for debris”

The couple decided to pay the fines because they didn’t want a lien put on their home. Still, they have continued to fight this issue.

“I would like to have an apology,” says Franca, “have my flag up there, and have my fine returned to me."

Bill and Franca feel they’ve been punished for displaying a love for their country.

They are proud Canadians. Franca immigrated from Italy. Bill immigrated from Holland, and is a Canadian army veteran.

“When we immigrated to Canada, we became Canadian citizens in about 1951, and then I joined the armed forces," says Bill.

The property management company responded to the Global Trouble Shooter’s request for an interview in writing, saying “The Board of Directors has reviewed your comments. At this time, they would like to make one comment with respect to these allegations: this was not an official flag, but a wind sock… The Board [President] will be happy to reply upon his arrival back next week.”

In the letters sent to the couple, the property management company refers to the item as a flag.

Technically, a flag is defined as “a piece of cloth… often attached to a pole or staff, decorated with a design and used as an emblem, symbol, or standard or as a means of signaling… a small paper flag, emblem, or sticker sold on flag days.”

A Private Member’s bill (Bill C-288 – the Canada Flag Act) has been introduced in Parliament that will ensure Canadians have the right to proudly fly the flag. It’s currently in its third reading.

Bill and Franca live in MP Peter Goldring’s constituency.

"I'm rather appalled that somebody would make an issue out of somebody who wants to have a flag," says Goldring.

"A flag is a symbol of our country and more people should be encouraged to have this symbolism and to show it."
With files from Julie Matthews

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Long Way Home - Cpl Kate MacEachern

This morning when I checked my "Thank A Soldier" inbox I had eight messages from eight different people about Cpl Kate MacEachern who was doing something special for the "Soldier On" program.  I didn't hesitate to help get the word out.

On June 4th Cpl Kate MacEachern who is a current member of The Canadian Forces out of Gagetown, NB started her 510km (316.8 miles) walk in support of the "Soldier On" program in full military gear including a fully loaded ruck sack.

Her will & determination is inspiring to many and she hopes to achieve her goal of raising $25,000 for Soldier On. We have supported "Soldier On" from day one on our page and if you remember recently our push to get their Facebook page over 1000 Likes which we were able to do in a few days so we also support Cpl MacEachern's efforts

This is from Cpl MacEachern's Facebook page called "The Long Way Home"

"When a Soldier deploys to wherever he/she is going, it is a fairly quick trip. A couple buses, a couple flights, maybe a layover. The trip home in a lot of cases isn't so fast. When a soldier comes back, sometimes it takes a while for that person to fully come home. In June I will be doing a 510 km walk by myself, in support of Soldier On. I am asking whomever is able, to please contact me for a sponsor sheet. This walk is to symbolize "The long way home" that a lot of our Soldiers take. Please and thank you dig deep. This organization is an amazing one and deserves every bit of recognition and every dollar I can raise. I will be leaving from CFB Gagetown 0900 Monday June 04 2012 and arriving in Antigonish Friday June 22 2012 Thank you from the bottom of my heart." - Cpl Kate MacEachern

Map of Cpl MacEachern's route 
Information on how to sponsor her can be found on the Facebook page for "The Long Way Home" which I've posted the link to on the photo below. 

Please join her Facebook group and leave a message of support, send a donation or buy a t-shirt to support her efforts.

Good Luck Kate!


Monday, June 4, 2012

WARNING : Military email scams circulating

I received an email from a Military wife about an email scam being circulated you may or may not have heard off. I have also received this email in a different variation in our email and wanted to get the word out there to all our members to be careful .  We have also been forwarded FAKE emails from people pretending to be soldiers approaching women online and starting online romances with them, then asking for money.

Please take a moment to read the note below thanks
Dave Murphy- Thank A Soldier

Here is the email first email :
Hello, Greetings from Afghanistan and thank you for your prayers!

I am Lt. Gen. James Jeffrey Corfield Bucknall, Deputy Commander, International Security Assistance Force. Presently in Afghanistan, We really appreciate all your concerns and prayers towards us here. There is an urgent development here that require an urgent assistance and in desperation I had to contact you for the assistance if you don't mind.

I and some of my men on duty last Friday discovered some amount of money which we have shared among ourselves and my share of the fund is $7.2million which a Red Cross Officer who do travel in and out of this embargo has promised to move in a consignment box of the fund and deliver to you. I see it as an opportunity that will help both of us hence my resolve to contact you. I want you to keep everything secret and confidential due to the level of my personality and I promise we both will benefit from this in the future as you invest and administer the fund.

We may not have had any personal contact but I believe God has a way of bringing people together to achieve His purpose. You can have a look of my profile to know more about me. And do let me know as soon as possible if it is okay by you for us to proceed.

God bless you.
 Lt. Gen. James J.C. Bucknall
ISAF Deputy Commander

I also received an email from a member of Thank A Soldier who had been talking with a guy pretending to be in Afghanistan for about four months.  They had numerous conversations on SKYPE and she was starting to have feelings for him.  She sent me this email : 

I have great news for you.  I'm getting three weeks off to come spend with you at the end of July but it is going to cost me $1500 for the trip as it's unplanned leave the ARMY will not cover this but I was able to get an exception for this case.  I would love to be able to finally meet you in person so I'm hoping you are able to help me with this cost using Western Union online.
Looking forward to hearing from you
SPC Joseph Murray

If you receive any emails such as this or any variants of it, please do not respond, just hit the delete button but feel free to let us know at

Virtual Vietnam War Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC honors those who died in the Vietnam War. Their relatives and friends leave letters, poems, and photographs at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and on this web site. 

The virtual Vietnam Veterans Memorial was sent to us by one of our Twitter followers @monkeywrench  sent us this in our email box today and I wanted to share it with you.  

You can go to the website and search by Last name or by State and you will see a bio of every veteran and the medals they received.  Click HERE or on the photo below to visit the site.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What is a hero - by Jim Seggie

This write up was sent to me by Jim Seggie (Canadian Forces) Jim is also the father of Cpl Mike Seggie who was killed in Afghanistan in September 2008.  I met Jim & Shirley seggie on Facebook after I attened the funeral of Pte. Chad Horn who was also killed the same day along with Cpl Andrew Grenon.  Jim emailed me this and asked that I share it on this blog page.  Thank You Jim for sharing with us.

The word “HERO” means many different things to many different people. The definition, according to is:

A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal

I think we all have or own heroes, whether they have performed heroic acts or not, or have what is considered heroic qualities. We all have our own ideas of what is a hero is, or should be.

Some of us think sports stars are heroes, and to an extent I can relate to that. I do admire the skill, the talent, the poise that a pro football quarterback shows when he’s surrounded by four or five 300 pound defensive linemen, or an NHL goaltender under fire at close range from a 100 mph slapshot, but to me – they are not heroes.

While rock stars who sell millions of dollars of albums are very talented – to me – they are not heroes. They rarely are in dangerous situations that see their lives put at risk.

Celebrities are not heroes. They are celebrities. We too often confuse the terms “celebrity” and “hero”. Celebrities seek out the spotlight, expect people to fawn over them and to bend to their every wish – heroes do not.

Movie stars are not heroes. They get paid more money than we will ever see to portray heroes, generally inaccurately.

Recently, my wife and I had the honour of attending a ceremony in Rideau Hall, Ottawa that recognized acts of extraordinary courage. You have probably never heard of the people I am going to tell you about.

One of them is a young lady, a Canadian, who was then 11 years old, who saved her mom’s life. The citation reads:


Miranda Suggitt, S.C. Lindsay, Ontario Star of Courage
On November 22, 2005, Miranda Suggitt, then 11 years old, risked her life to prevent her mother from being shot. During the evening, Miranda’s father became intoxicated and violent, threatening her mother with a rifle. The rifle went off, missing the woman, who quickly ran outside. Miranda’s father followed his wife and pointed the weapon at her. Without any regard for her own life, Miranda stepped between the two and begged her father not to shoot. He yelled at her to move, but she stood her ground until others helped to take the rifle away and hold him until the police arrived. Through her actions, Miranda showed great courage and prevented a terrible tragedy.

Another hero is this young man, a fellow Manitoban:
Scott Borlase, M.B. Winnipeg, Manitoba Medal of Bravery
On January 31, 2009, 14-year-old Scott Borlase was instrumental in keeping his sister safe during a snowstorm on Lake Winnipeg, in Manitoba. Scott, his 11-year-old sister, and their father had started their snowmobile outing on a clear morning, but by early afternoon the weather had changed. They lost sight of the marked trail due to the severe winds and heavy snowfall. At one point, Scott’s father got off the snowmobile and collapsed to the ground. Unable to find a pulse, Scott made the decision to go for help with his sister. In the blinding storm, Scott drove in a straight line hoping to eventually reach the shoreline. Once at the shore, Scott was able to use his cell phone to call 911 and provide directions to their location. He brought his sister into a bush area away from the biting wind, and used a solar blanket to keep them warm until help finally arrived several hours later. Another search party located his father who, sadly, did not survive.

Two acts of extraordinary courage made all the more extraordinary by the relative youth of the recipients - have been well and justifiably recognized - But there are everyday heroes we don’t always recognize as heroes.

The local volunteer coaches– who patiently take those little people – our kids and grandkids – and teach them the intricacies of hockey, or baseball, or football or …or whatever sport or activity the kids decide to play. They do this of their own free will and on their own time, often without due recognition. They may not be perfect – but they are true heroes.

The person who stops to aid someone who has a flat tire or broken down car – that is a hero to the person in need at that time. It may seem like a small inconsequential action – but to the stranded motorist, their hero has found them and they have found their hero.

The teacher that goes the extra mile to mentor a student – to support and encourage their students to do their very best – to that student, that teacher is a hero. That teacher may have had to work after hours, without recognition or compensation.

Our police, firefighters, soldiers and paramedics – to those that need their services, they are heroes. We don’t often think about it and tend to take them for granted, but they do heroic things on a daily basis, whether it be rescuing someone from a life threatening situation, or just being there to ensure that we, as a community, are safe.

To those people who live along the banks of the Red River - and theAssiniboine River – the volunteers who gave their own time and effort to help their fellow Manitobans – they are heroes, and I am sure we can all agree on that point. Some of them have willingly put their own safety in jeopardy so that others may be safe. They are true heroes.

True heroes are easy to find – you just don’t realize it until you think about it. Our heroes are in our own neighbourhood, working, living, and going about their business, just like we do, without notice, without fanfare and no expectation of reward. I found some heroes hanging out in my house the other day…my wife Shirley, my daughter Michelle and her husband Mat, and our two grandchildren, Carson and Stella. They are what I consider to be heroes.

In fact all you have to do is look in front of you, behind you and either side of you, and you will soon find a hero.

In Memory of Cpl Mike Seggie KIA Sept. 2008