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Members of the Canadian army training in Vernon this weekend

A great calling

Both units have a long and illustrious military history and this weekend members of the BC Dragoons and Rocky Mountain Rangers got together for a training exercise.

Area residents most likely heard the exercises that used blank rounds to simulate the combat assaults by both units at the Vernon military camp.

The Kelowna-based BCDs are an armoured unit, while the Rangers out of Kamloops are an infantry unit.

The joint exercise was the product of BCD Lt.-Col. Kevin Mead and RMR Lt.-Col. Amadeo Vecchio.

It has been decades since the two units conducted exercises together and the troops ran through several scenarios to better mesh as a fighting force.

“It's our soldiers coming together and sharing some skills,” said Vecchio. “There is a bit of a learning curve for everybody because we haven't worked together in a lot of years, but I think it is a wonderful institution and hopefully there will be more to follow,” said Vecchio, adding joining the military is one of the greatest calls you can answer.

Mead said there are lots of reasons to become a Canadian soldier.

“At the end of the day, it's the ability to contribute to something greater than yourself. I think that is really why most of us join,” said Mead.

Added Vecchio, “It's being twice the citizen. It's serving your country domestically when situations arise and overseas on expeditionary operations. I think it is one of the greatest callings.”



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