Serving those who serve | CAF Story

Video / November 6, 2017


My name is Loreena McKennitt, I’m the Honorary Colonel for the RCAF. And I’ve been an Honorary Colonel for just about ten years. I started out with 435 Squadron in Winnipeg as Search and Rescue and Transport Squadron. And sort of cut my teeth as it were, in the RCAF in the back of a Hercules aircraft.

Travelling with this squadron allowed me to develop a very personal appreciation for what some of the… our folks in the Air Force do for Canadians. None of my family came from the military, and this was a huge eye-opening experience. Well, I think some of the differences between the civilian and the military, and particularly let’s say the RCAF, which I’m more familiar with, lies in the structure, the policies, procedures, protocols, but also the traditions. Some of these I see particularly when I attend a mess dinner, and it’s rich with tradition.

And I’ve reflected on it myself over the years, the importance and value of traditions and rituals. There’s something that really helps connect us to our roots with those activities and those practices. And I think it’s immensely important, in terms of informing who we are, and why we do certain things.

I think one of the first things that I learned when I joined 435 Squadron in Winnipeg, was that the Canadian Forces are instructed by the government of Canada, and the government of Canada is voted in by the citizens of Canada. And in the end, I felt that the citizens of Canada hold the duty of care for those who serve.

And when people say: “Well, you know, how did you, you know, as an artist, get involved with the Canadian Forces, in particularly the Air Force?” I say: “Well, I am a citizen of Canada and I feel that we need to know, participate and support those who serve us.” And without question, it is an ongoing privilege to serve those who serve Canadians.

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