L.S. Eley with the Vernon flag in Afghanistan. (Photo: Contributed)
L.S. Eley with the Vernon flag in Afghanistan. (Photo: Contributed)

Vernon flag back from Afghanistan

by - Story: 58126

After flying over Kandahar for close to five months, a City of Vernon flag is returning home.

Leading Seaman Gareth Eley, a Vernon resident, recently completed a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Eley served with the Second Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment (PPCLI) assigned to the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar from October 2009 to May 2010 where he was the Operations and Accommodations Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) at Camp Nathan Smith.

While overseas, he took part in the Home Flags Project, a project which brings a bit of home to soldiers stationed overseas.

“This flag was an important reminder of my hometown every day of my tour and it’s great to be able to come home and formally present it to the city. It’s especially important for me to do this during the celebration of the Canadian Navy’s centennial this year as a representative of our navy,” says Eley.

He says the Vernon flag flew right next to the flag from Victoria.

“There were flags from literally every point across Canada, it was a wonderful sight.”

Eley says he isn't sure what will become of the flag once he hands it over to Vernon mayor Wayne Lippert during the Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11.

“I heard the Victoria flag was raised and flown in front of their City Hall within about ten minutes of being handed over, I hope that is what will happen to my flag.”

Prior to the Remembrance Day events, L.S. Eley will speak with the Kalamalka Sea Cadet Corps during their training evening on November 9 and will take part in the Remembrance Day events at W.L. Seaton School on Wednesday.

The handing over of the Vernon flag takes place on November 11 at the Wesbild Multiplex Centre.

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