Wayne Shaw with his medal at the Bellevue Legion on January 17. Nick Allen photo.
Nicholas L. M. Allen
Jan 25, 2023
“The last house we found, we bought and we’re still in there”
A local veteran was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal on January 14.
Wayne Shaw was the recipient of the medal after serving in the Canadian Air Force for 32 years. His other accomplishments include being a past executive member of the Alberta-NWT Command, helping design ‘Support Our Troop’ t-shirts to raise funds for Canadian Military in Afghanistan and he helps drive other seniors to doctor appointments. Shaw spent time on three different aircraft including the CC-106 Yukon, Boeing 707’s and C 130 Hercules. During his career, he was posted to Trenton, Toronto and Sudbury in Ontario, Edmonton and Germany.
“I only spent three years in Edmonton because we always said that we’d like to go back to Germany if the opportunity ever arose. So, they offered me a posting back to Germany and I love flying on the [Hercules], but I had to make up my mind because we knew the base was closing,” explained Shaw, “The government was cutting back forces, so we took the posting to Germany and it was supposed to close in four years. As it turned out, it was only a three-year posting. They closed the base and then we got posted to Trenton.”
It was shortly after that when he got out of the military, with his pension starting the same day. That was when he decided to move out to the Crowsnest Pass.
“The last house we found, we bought and we’re still in there,” said Shaw.
During the interview at the Bellevue Legion on January 17 he also took some time to talk about the biggest problem facing the Legion, getting people to join. Shaw said most of the people who joined the Legion had someone in their family as member before joining.
“Unfortunately, none of the veterans of Afghanistan are joining the Legion. Because they seem to think that it’s [for older people]. We lost a generation between the Second World War and Korean War and then, we haven’t had a war until Afghanistan,” he said.
In his 32 years of service in the military, Shaw said he never had to fire his weapon outside of training. He said this is much different than the number of veterans from Afghanistan suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He pointed out that veterans don’t need to be a part of the legion to access funds.
“We’re hurting for veterans. You know, anybody can come in off the street, they have opened up the Legion so any Canadian citizen can join,” added Shaw.