Rachel T.

Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Fair

Freedom Through The Ages

I chose to do my project on three of my family members who were in the military. My cousin, Lee Penny, served in the war in Afghanistan, my great uncle Walter Wells was peace-keeping in Germany, and my late great great grandfather Joseph Gleeson worked in the forestry in World War I and II. My project talks about their experiences while they served.


What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

Everything that I learned while doing this project was interesting to me, but the most interesting thing that I have learned is about my cousin Lee getting injured in the war in Afghanistan. His platoon was in a patrol heading to an armoured checkpoint, when his LAV 3 (tank) hit an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) injuring four of them. They were lucky to survive. After his injury, he spent weeks recovering and receiving surgeries.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

One important lesson that I have learned while doing this project is to always push your fears aside and to pursue your dreams. Another lesson that I learned is that you have to make sacrifices to get where you need to be in life. I also learned that a dream is never to hard to reach, and perseverance and hard work are the keys to success. All three of these men pushed their fears aside and sacrificed for our freedom, and I am proud to be able to call them family.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

My life, thanks to people like my family members risking their lives to make our country more safe, is much more peaceful than what they had to experience over in Afghanistan, Germany, or Europe. They went through some very tough times while they served. Because of people like them and their bravery, I hopefully won't experience some of the things they witnessed while in service.