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NAEC students talk with a Canadian soldiersubmitted by NAEC
Photo: Major Gordon Ohlke talks with student Caleb Leoen as he tries on military gear.
Students in grade 9 English at North Addington Education centre had a special visitor on Monday; Major Gordon Ohlke of the Canadian Armed Forces came to speak about serving in the Military and his recent experiences in Afghanistan.
Maj. Ohlke served for 10 months in Kandahar and at Camp Nathan Smith from December 2010 to October 2011. Showing students a slideshow of information and images, he spoke about the human side of being a soldier and the job responsibilities. “It was cool to learn about the military,” said Sarah Oliver. The slideshow had images of departing for Afghanistan, to life in Kandahar for civilians and soldiers. It also had images of some of the more emotionally charged moments of soldiering; the ramp ceremonies, the medal ceremonies, flags at half-mast and soldiers returning home to their families, one who was meeting his infant son for the first time.
“I really liked when Maj. Ohlke showed us his combat gear,” said Andrew Freeburn. Students got to try on his helmet, flack-jacket, equipment vest and heft his 60 lb. rucksack. Maj. Ohlke talked about the fitness test that required full gear and pack with rigorous activities and how, when on patrol in Afghanistan, the added weight of weapons and ammunition in the dusty heat made each day very physically demanding.
“It is nice to have a soldier take the time from his busy schedule to come talk to us,” said Darian Flieler.