My grandfathers were both veterans of the U.S. Army (i.e., one serving in WWII and the other in Korea). However, we didn’t have a big history of military service or remembrance in our family. Growing up in Texas, I had an interest in military history (thanks to my father) and in Canada (thanks to my parents taking me to Expo 86 in Vancouver at a very impressionable age). I’ve deepened the latter interest over the years with frequent trips to Canada and becoming a graduate of the University of British Columbia while still living in the US.
I do recall sitting in a coffee shop in Vancouver in 2010, and a friend telling me about an organization that combines both of those interests – the Royal Canadian Legion! I’ve sincerely enjoyed reading the magazine, learning all manner of interesting things, and of course being a very small part of helping the Legion achieve its mission. Even though I’m physically very far from my “home” branch in San Francisco, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my membership. Despite my distance from the branch, during our epic winter storms in Texas this year I received an e-mail asking how I was doing and if the branch could be of any assistance. That was such a kind and truly touching gesture.
I joined because of an initial interest in military history and Canada, but I’ve maintained my membership because the people and activities of the branch.