As cofounder of the CAV/VAC ‘Canadian Army Veterans’-‘Vete’ran Arme’e’ Canadienne’ Motorcycle Units, it has been my Pleasure and Honour to serve as National President for 10 years now. Since the beginning Â I was responsible for our Constitution and Identity. On Purpose I shaped the CAV/VAC not solely as a Veterans organization, but’ Veteran based’-a riding family with it’s core made up of Veterans French and English, riding any brand of motorcycle. Further, We are Not a 'Motorcycle Club' we are a Riding Club, rather than 'Chapters' I chose to recognize ‘Units’ commemoratingÂ Canadian Military Battle Honour’s- Keeping alive the Sacrifices of our Ancestors, our present day generation and pledging as well to Honour All Future Service to our Nation!
As a Founder , my greatest pride is not only in ensuring we do everything possible to commemorate the Sacrifices of the past , present and future of our Military, but crucially- that our CAV/VAC Organization Â join’s Veteran with Veteran Supporter.
Â -The ‘’Veteran’’, those citizens who are Military, Canadian Ranger Â or RCMP Qualified having dedicated themselves to Â the service of our Nation , nowÂ assisted to great success with continuing service at home,Â
-with our ‘’Veteran Supporters’’ , they with a lifetime of lessons learned in the community’s we now serve on motorcycles-they now united with our Veteran’s, those Â who’ve always had our ‘Back’- now Proudly riding by our sides-including our entire family, children included!
Incredible resources- both Veteran and Veteran Supporter, united in achieving our Mission, ‘’Ride and Have Fun While Helping Others’’-with ‘Strength and Honour’ as our Motto , using motorcycles as vehicles of outreach assuring a memorable successful adventure.
At this time we proudly ride in over 90 cities across Canada-with great pride in having focused fund raising energy’s in hundreds of ways, Our CAV/VAC Family partnering with those on the same path collectively raising millions of dollars-toward well over 250 different Charitable energy’s throughout our Â first decade!
Reflecting our Veteran based organization’s outreach towards recognition of our military’s service and sacrifice we also have taken on nation wide thousands of hours of Veteran support including community activities as varied as Fund raising for Veteran Home’s such as Tony Stacey Center in Scarborough, Canada’s only facility that has as its business plan the priority ofÂ keeping Â Veteran and Spouse together till death-or Hospital Veteran Wing Â CAV/VAC Energies in supporting Â many hospices like Park wood Hospital in London Ontario, there in the name of Trooper Mark Wilson, a soldier who fell in Afghanistan,who’s memory is kept alive by our CAV Family-as well as his Mom and Dad, both also Proud CAV Member’s.
From individual Veteran Shut in's who haveÂ benefitedÂ from wheel chair ramps Â made by volunteer CAV Labour- right up to many Veteran patients having a safe healing garden environment, for those who suffer from Dementia as in St Johns Newfoundland’s ‘Dr Leonard Miller Centre’s Caribou Memorial Pavilion’ - CAV/VAC Members have made a difference in countless ways..
Recently it was my honour, at our Nations Ottawa War Museum to recognize with Honorary CAV Cresting a Member who has walked with his Service dog from Halifax to Ottawa making our fellow citizens aware of the healing energy a trained PTSD Dog gives it’s warrior buddy- as well as announcing there a CAV/VAC 5 year plan with the assistance of powerful allies’ to raise tens of thousands of dollars through National celebrity golf tournaments to purchase many service dog’s for our heroes. Can our CAV Family think ‘outside the box’? Absolutely
We have attended, in Direct support of the family’s and comrades of the Afghanistan mission every single repatriation of the fallen from that conflict, including ongoing heartfelt Silver Cross family support across Canada- Our CAV/VAC Pledge to Never Forget a family’s gift of life in respect of a far away nations freedom. It is our CAV/VAC Honour to count among us Family members of our Fallen, their sacrifice Honoured with unique Silver Cross Family cresting as well as countless support energy’s to respect our fallen and our Military’s wounded through ‘Soldier On’ , Wounded Warrior’ and similar Â programs, Â allowing us to give back to those who’ve given so much! This focus of proud heartfelt recognition we pledge for Every Military mission of the Past, Present and Future!
Â In the past 10 years I have witnessed well over 1000 positive Motorcycle events from coast to coast to coast, Proud CAV Comrades by my side showcasing the regions that host gatherings of our riders. My immense pride of Your Victory’s has been secured while crossing Canada 14 times myself. With well over a million km’s experience now, each new day-with every turn of my front tire bringing me to yet another powerful CAV/VAC experience!
Â It would take 10 years to describe the many varied historic moments in the past decade Ive seen that show the proof of our outreach success,Â
-from witnessing the first provincial designation of a National ‘Highway of Heroes’- beginning in British Columbia and soon succeeding nationwide -a CAV/VAC initiative to recognize Heroism by All citizens along the entire route of our Trans Canada Highway ,
-also including riding in front of thousands of motorcyclists from ‘Atlanticade’, the great motorcycle festivalÂ on Canada’s east coast carrying in my sidecar our own CAV Member Harry Watt’s, he a World War 2 Combat despatch rider- as we rode from PEI to New Brunswick and back on Confederation BridgeÂ ,Â
-or proudly including Â riding at the head of thousands of motorcycles down the Ontario Highway of Heroes at the annual ‘’Heroes Highway Ride’’ Event, with our Own National CAV/VAC Silver Cross family coordinator Darlene Cushman in the sidecar, her son Darryl Casswell a CAV Member killed by IED in PanjwaiÂ Afghanistan. These a fraction of the countless memorys gathered at your sides!
As I announced at our Spring AGM in Moncton New Brunswich, this is my last season as your National President. At our Summer AGM in Red Deer Alberta I introduced incoming National President ‘Grizzly’ Earle Eastman , National Vice President ‘Maddawg’ Derrick McClinchey, who alongside ‘Buddha’ Ernie Hall will assume leadership of the CAV/VAC Family, allowing my energy’s to be focused fully onto the Chief Executive Officer role of our newlyÂ Incorporated Not for Profit CAV/VAC Organization
Our internationally known identity is that of a ‘CAV/VAC Crest’ bearing the image of a Despatch rider powering up and out of the ‘Devils Punchbowl’ during WW2. Military riders carried a simple message- Exactly the message our CAV/VAC Organization membership repeat every day- that comrades sharing a riders dangers and thrills, ‘powering up and out of Any challenge’ united with those who ride at our side -proving that together we can defeat any obstacle in our path as we support our Nations military, our Community and its citizens !
I Have been humbled literally thousands of times as Our Beloved CAV/VAC Family has followed its Mission to ‘Ride and Have Fun While Helping Others’, using ‘’Strength and Honour’’ as our Motto- The Strength to get through Every Day, and the Honour to do so the best way possible!
Â I with CoFounder Doc Lebrun, alongside our entire membership take great pleasure and pride as the Next decade of our CAV history roars straight ahead- Our Canadian Veteran based riding family taking on old and new challenges!Â
Veteran and Supporter together, our family’s at our sides as we continue our solemn pledge to Never Forget the Sacrifices of our Nations military.
Hard won freedoms that we ALL Enjoy every time we swing our leg over the saddle and support each other, our community and Nation. The CAV/VAC, In my and our Nations opinion one of our Country’s greatest ongoing service organization’s with a clear powerful past and a Fantastic Future!!