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Nov 08, 2023
Many say their military careers improved and empowered their lives
They come from First Nations communities across Canada, and on Indigenous Veterans Day, Nov. 8, Canadians will have the opportunity to honour their unique contributions and bravery.
Veterans like Francine Young say their military service gave them a chance to improve the world.
“To be part of a larger military community makes you feel that you have contributed and were willing to sacrifice all that you have known to try and make the world a little better for the future generations,” said Young, 40, from Bilijk, Kingsclear First Nation, about 13 kilometres west of Fredericton, N.B.
The Wolastoqey woman, who volunteered with the U.S. Army in 2003, was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with the 664 Ordnance Company, where she worked as a screener at an entry control point. In 2008, she was transferred to Iraq with the 639 Quartermaster Company.
Enduring mortar fire and blazing hot sandstorms with her team in Afghanistan built lasting bonds, she said: “You’re literally trusting somebody else with your life.”