New video tells vets’ stories to schools
Each year during the week of Remembrance Day, Frank Reid finds his schedule stretched thin as he and members of the RCR Association visit as many schools as possible in the Waterloo, Ontario area. Upwards of 50 requests flood in, and Reid and other members try to meet them all — presenting to each school or class or group of students the importance of remembering the sacrifices of soldiers.
But Reid doesn’t just visit schools during Remembrance Week. As author of the book 1972-1979 A Canadian Soldier at Peace, he also speaks to classes on a regular basis on how to write a book. During this time, he finds kids ask more about his military background than his writing presentation. He was shocked at the general lack of knowledge about Canadian military history. “Whether grade 6, or grade 12, the kids know nothing, and that’s a horrible thing to say,” he explains. “They know a bit about the World Wars and Afghanistan, but little to nothing about in between.”
Reid came up with an idea to create a video that tells the stories of a select number of Canadian soldiers and veterans. Reid received a grant from the City of Waterloo to film and took the project to the production company ADVIDEO, who ultimately filmed and edited it for free. The result is a gripping 25-minute video featuring Canadian soldiers from all walks of life simply telling their stories.
Watching the video, it does not feel educational. There is no teacher lecturing; there is no lecturing at all. Just soldiers, young and elder, telling their stories: why they joined, what they did, what they experienced. One striking example is of a veteran of Afghanistan explaining why he joined the Canadian Armed Forces. Born in Korea, he wanted to pay forward the sacrifices made by Canadians and other countries during the Korean War.
“Without their sacrifice, then I would not be here,” he says in the video. “So I thought it was important for me, in my own way, maybe for future generations, to hopefully do some good by volunteering on this tour.”
Reid set out to cover the timeline from Korea to Afghanistan, with veterans from both wars and various missions in between. It is a positive video — it won’t have you reaching for the tissues — but it will leave you with a lasting impression of the sacrifice and courage of members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
The video has been viewed in 12 countries and its reach is growing rapidly. The Waterloo District School Board has agreed to use it as a resource for their many schools. It will also be used in all the museums in the Waterloo area as well as be available in the library. Reid emphasized that the video is free, and it was created “just for the simple purpose of being out there to educate.”
To view the video visit this website or simply scroll down and click play. It is worth the 25 minutes of your time.