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Military Appreciation Week Coverage and Photo Galleries

By Admin, 06/15/22, 12:00PM EDT


The history of Baseball Oshawa's MIlitary Appreciation Week

Welcome to Baseball Oshawa’s Military Appreciation Week.  

The Oshawa Legionaires have been in existence since 1949 and owe the creation of our baseball family to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #43. 
We have permanently been attached to the military in some form, and in 2015, the very first Military Appreciation Week took place here at Kinsmen Civic Memorial Stadium. This stadium has a special significance as well. Kinsmen was built in 1949 in honour of the fallen of World War II, and this tribute is on its wall behind home plate to remind us of their sacrifices.

This week-long event is one meant for reflection. 
We hold it to not only honour our Military men and women of today but to remind ourselves and our children that many before them have given their lives to protect us and provide the freedoms we enjoy. Many died for us to play this beloved game, and we offer our greatest respect to them. This week we dedicate to the names on the front of our jerseys, not the ones on our backs. For those in attendance today who wear or have worn a uniform, WE THANK YOU!

This week you will see soldiers walking amongst you, in the dugouts and throwing out pitches. Today is their day. Shake their hands and say thanks. Remind them of how appreciative we are of their sacrifices.
We have games all week with doubleheaders starting at 5:30 pm and 8 pm at Kinsmen Civic Memorial Stadium. First pitch ceremonies begin 15 minutes before game time.

Brigidier General Richard DesLauriers enlisted as a Sapper Apprentice in 1964. Completing his Basic Sapper Training as part of the two year program at RCSME, Sapper DesLauriers was posted to 2 Fd Sqn, Gagetown. Promoted to Sergeant in 1973, he was then selected as a member of the International Commission for Control and Supervision in Vietnam and returned to 3 Fd Sqn after this assignment. Promoted to Captain, he moved to CFSME as the Chief Standards Officer. In 1982 he became the commander of the Mine Warfare and Demolitions Section and 24 EOD Unit and became a tactics instructor two years later.

In August 1986 Major DesLauriers took command of 45 Field Squadron in Sydney, NS, becoming the first Regular Force CO of a, Engineer Militia unit since the Second World War. During this period he also served in Turkey with the Allied Mobile Force (Land). IN 1989, he was moved to CFB Kingston. Maj Deslaurier’s tour in Kingston was followed by a posting to 4 CER in 1991 as the DCO and participated in the CF’s first six-month tour in the former Yugoslavia. On the unit’s return to Germany, he held command of 4 CER until its closure in summer 1993. On promotion LCol DesLauriers returned to Canada in July 1995 as the Chief of Staff, Toronto Militia District [later renamed 32 Canadian Brigade Group]. He served in this position until his retirement from the Regular Force in 1999 after 35 years of service. But the desire to serve called him back.

He then transferred to the Active Reserve Force and became the Deputy Commander of 32 Canadian Brigade Group. He was promoted Colonel in August 2000 and soon assumed command of 32 Canadian Brigade Group. In 2003 he assumed command of 2 Area Support Group and held that command until January 2005 when he was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff (Operations) and Deputy Commander for Land Forces Central Area. BGen DesLauriers was promoted to his current rank in October 2006 on his appointment at Deputy Commander Land Force Doctrine and Training System. BGen DesLauriers retired from the CF in September 2008 after 44 years of service. His awards include being invested as an Officer in the Order of Military Merit, the Canadian Forces Decoration with three clasps and the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, along with the UN Medal for the former Yugoslavia and the ICCS Medal for Vietnam.

In honourary positions since his second retirement, BGen DesLauriers has served as the Canadian Military Engineer Branch Colonel Commandant and is now the Honourary Colonel for the 32 Engineer Regiment in Toronto.

Sargeant Kyle Hardy

Kyle Hardy joined the Army Reserves right here, in Oshawa, as part of our Ontario Regiment in 2007.
The Black Cat was deployed to Afghanistan in May of 2010 as a member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons
where he spent 7 months doing both mounted and dismounted reconnaissance. He is still serving our
beloved city and country and stationed here in Oshawa.

Cpl Josee Cyr grew up in Sherbrooke , Quebec .  After high school she was not too sure what she wanted to do in life, until she discovered a passion for cooking.  In 2000 she decided to register in culinary school and knew it right away that she wanted cook in the big kitchen so after my 1 year course she decided to join the military as a cook. Cpl Cyr did a 3 year contract and left the military in 2004. She  had her son 2005, and missed the military so much that she joined again in 2007.

Cpl Cyr was in St-Jean until 2014, working in the kitchen feeding the recruits . She was posted in Petawawa from 2014-2018, but suffered 6 injuries. She now works at the Military recruitment office in Oshawa and loves it!  She feels at home and will retire December 2023. As a kid Cpl Cyr used to be an athlete playing softball, soccer, tennis, swimming , cycling.

Private Dennis Vince, Ontario Regiment. He enlisted in 2018 as an officer at the Royal Military College. He is now in Oshawa with the armoured crewmen doing training.

Major Mark Castle, CD, AEMCA

Mark spent 23 years in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves. Mark held a number of positions within his regiment starting as a tank troop leader, and moving on to reconnaissance troop leader, and officer commanding the Armoured Squadron, and then the Headquarters Squadron, and then became the regimental second-in-command. He served for 23 years retiring with the rank of major. It was during this time that Mark qualified as the Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical defence officer and with this background Mark was asked to set up the City of Toronto’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Team. This was a multidisciplinary team made up of members of Toronto Fire Service’s Hazmat Unit; specially trained Toronto EMS Paramedics; members of Toronto Police Service’s Forensics unit and the ETF Bomb unit Technicians, and select members of Toronto Public Health. Due to the success of this unit Mark was seconded to the Federal government to help set up and implement a national training program for first responders. He travelled extensively, training across the country, and sat on a number of international committees dealing with terrorism and CBRNE issues.

Mark is married, has two children and four grandchildren. When he’s not travelling, or looking after his grandchildren, he bikes, reads, dabbles in photography, or operates scale model trains.

Private Reilly Dinsdale

Private Reilly Dinsdale grew up in Saskatchewan and has had an interest in the armed forces from an early age.  He is currently posted at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics at CFB Kingston, training to become a Signal Technician.  As a Signal Technician Private Dinsdale maintains and fixes signals and communication equipment that our troops use daily such as radios and satellite communications.  Private Dinsdale has been with the Canadian Armed Forces since 2021.

Petty Officers Second Class (PO2) Leon Kettle (retired)

PO2 Leon Kettle began his career in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2002, upon completion of high school, joining the Naval Reserve as a boatswain with HMCS Cabot in St. Johns, NL. During his time in the reserves, PO2 Kettle sailed as part of a ship’s crew on Kingston Class vessels while continuing his post-secondary education. In 2009 upon completion of post-secondary education, PO2 Kettle completed a transfer from a reserve force boatswain to a Regular force member of the Canadian Forces Military Police branch.

In 2010, PO2 Kettle was posted to the Military Police Guard house at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, where he worked as a Military Police patrol section member. In 2013, PO2 Kettle was accepted into the Military Police Security Service, a specialty unit that provides security to Canadian embassies around the world. As part of this unit, PO2 Kettle was posted to Moscow, Russia, to act as a security expert to the Canadian Ambassador to the Russian federation. In 2016, PO2 Kettle was promoted to the rank of Master Sailor and was posted back to Canada to Canadian Forces Base Borden for the position of a patrol shift supervisor as part of the patrol section. In 2018, PO2 Kettle was deployed on a tour of duty in Kuwait and Iraq as part of Operation Impact – NATO Mission Iraq. He acted as a hardpoint security expert, providing security directives to established Canadian Strong Point throughout Iraq. Upon completing his tour of duty, he was promoted to the rank of PO2 and returned to CFB Borden.

At that point in his career, PO2 Kettle had achieved his goals as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and began to seek employment as a civilian Police Officer outside of the military. In October of 2020, PO2 Kettle retired with distinction from the Canadian Armed Forces to continue his career as a Police Constable with Durham Regional Police Service.

Master Corporal (Retired) Chuck Smith

Mcpl/Retired Chuck Smith served 20 years in the Canadian Airforce as an Avionics Technician. He was stationed in Cold Lake Alberta, Baden Germany, Borden Ontario, Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, and Petawawa Ontario. He worked on CF-18’s, Single and Twin Huey helicopters and Tutors. He worked as an Avionics instructor at the Airforce School of Electronics. He also served with the United Nations and did a 7 month tour in Haiti.Mr Smith has a solid background in baseball as a Nationally ranked umpire. He worked or supervised at 9 Canadian Championships. In 2005 he was the recipient of the Don Gilbert award as the Ontario Senior Umpire of the Year!

Sergeant Jeff Elo

Sergeant Jeff Elo joined the Canadian Armed Forces on 13 Jan, 1992 as a Radio Technician with 709 Toronto Communication Regiment, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals.  Over his career, Sgt Elo has spent several years with the Ontario Regiment, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps from 1995 to 2012 and 2017 to 2021.  Sgt Elo is currently employed by 1 Squadron, 32 Signal Regiment, formerly known as 709 Toronto Communication Regiment as a Signals Operator where he is in role as an instructor for the Basic Officer Signals Course.

     Although never deployed overseas, Sgt Elo has been tasked on several domestic operations including Operation ASSISTANCE in 1997 during the Manitoba floods, Operation RECOUPERATION in 1998 when eastern Ontario and western Quebec were paralysed by the ice storm, and Operation ABACUS in 2000 for the “y2k bug” concern.  As well, Sgt Elo has twice been deployed to the arctic; first in 1993 to Resolute with the Special Service Force, now known as Canadian Special Operations Regiment, and then in 2008 to Iqaluit with 33 Canadian Brigade Group.

     In 2004, Sgt Elo was awarded is Canadian Forces Decoration, or CD, for 12 years of service and in 2014, he was awarded his first bar to the CD for an additional 10 years of service.

Colonel (Retired) Robert (Bob) Chapman

 Colonel (Retired) Robert (Bob) Chapman, MMM, MOM, CD Honorary Colonel, The Ontario Regiment 

Colonel Chapman started his military career in 1970 as a Private in the regular component of the Canadian Armed Forces and transferred to the Army Reserve to become a member of The Ontario Regiment in 1973. Promoted quickly through the Non Commissioned ranks he attained the rank of Chief Warrant Officer in 1982 and was appointed as the Regimental Sergeant Major of The Ontario Regiment, a position he held until 1987.

Commissioned from the ranks, he progressed through the officer ranks commanding every squadron within the Regiment. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1994 and appointed Commanding Officer of The Ontario Regiment. Upon completion of a successful 3 years tenure of Command, he was transferred to 32 Canadian Brigade Group, Toronto where he served as Deputy Commander.  Promoted to Colonel in April 1999 and he was appointed Commander 33 Canadian Brigade Group, Ottawa. From 2001 until his retirement in 2007 he served in numerous senior staff positions at Canadian Army Headquarters, Ottawa and 4th Canadian Division Headquarters, Toronto.

In November 2016 the Minister of National Defence appointed Colonel Chapman as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of The Ontario Regiment and elevated him to his current appointment as Honorary Colonel in 2019.

Colonel Chapman is a Member of the Order of Military Merit, a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, and a Serving Brother of the Order of St John.  He has been awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Canadian Forces Decoration with three clasps, and the Police Exemplary Service Medal.

He is Past President of the Ontario Regiment Association, Past President of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association, and Past President of the Durham Regional Police Senior Officers’ Association. He is a Life member of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, a member of The Ontario Regiment Tank Museum and Branch 43 Royal Canadian Legion.

Col Chapman currently serves as the Regional & City Councillor for Ward 3, is Oshawa’s Deputy Mayor and Chair of Durham Region’s Health and Social Services Committee. He is also the Chair of the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, Durham Region Local Housing Corporation, and Co-Chairs Durham Local Immigration Partnership Council.  


Lieutenant-Colonel Catherine  MacDonald-Haylock

Lieutenant-Colonel Catherine  MacDonald-Haylock (Lt-Col Cat) has served the Canadian Armed Forces as a reservist for 30 yearsas of this past February. Starting part-time role while attending university, later she switched to full-time and never looked back.  
A strong background in military planning, logistics and a heavy focus in communications / public relations she has tours in Bosnia, and Afghanistan. She currently works as the Deputy Commanding Officer and Operations Officer for the 4th Canadian Division Headquarters in Toronto has a secondary role as the senior Reserve Public Affairs officer for the Army.    
She has a masters from Royal Military College and undergrad in Communications from Wilfrid Laurier University.  She grew up living abroad in a variety of counties, and now calls Oshawa home for the past decade.  She has two teenage boys who love sports and cars, Alex (17) and Michael (15). 

Corporal Adam Dover lives right here in Oshawa, ON. He served with the 3 rd Battalion Royal Canadian
Regiment and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.

Todd Parker was a member of the 25th Medical Company Army Reserve Unit in 1997, out of the Moss Park Armoury prior to becoming a Police Officer with the City of Toronto in 1999.
Todd had to leave the reserves so he could dedicate his time to his new career and newlywed wife and children soon to follow.
The military service bug never left him. When Todd heard of officers serving beside our military brothers in arms in Places like Kosovo and East Timor, he decided that he had to do that one day.
Then after watching September 11th, 2001 unfold he then decided that he had to do something. His opportunity came at the end of 2012. He was Deployed to Afghanistan under Canada's Operation Attention. Here Todd worked as a Civilian Police Officer Advisor of Human Rights and Women's Rights,
alongside our European Union Police Mission and International Security Assistance Force Military partners.
He spent 12 months working out of Herat Afghanistan. From December 2012 to December 2013.
Then the Military service bug was reignited when the opportunity presented itself to serve again as a Civilian Police Advisory alongside our Canadian Military in Ukraine.
Todd worked under the Canadian led 'Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine' as a Community Police advisor to Ukraine's National Police Service. He worked alongside the Canadian Military training Mission, Operation Unifier.
This was another 12 month Mission from September 2017 to September 2018.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. His involvement and passion for service to our country have rubbed off on his children.
Currently serving with the Ontario Regiment of 3 Brigade are Melanie and Harrison Parker.
Currently, Todd is a Neighbourhood Community Police Officer in Scarborough Village out of 43 Division Toronto Police Service.

Darryl has served 8 years with our Canadian Forces. Six of those as part of the Military Police. He was enlisted with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Darryl Guy has done 2 tours in Afghanistan.

Julia Da Silva and Emily Duran performed the National Anthem.