“Deplorable” ordeal leads to goodwill gesture


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Langford’s Market on Millstream has come to the aid of house-bound military families having difficulty shopping because of COVID-19 self isolation and physical distancing measures.

The grocery store is offering free delivery service to those living in the Westshore who have a military partner deployed.

The program launched after store co-owner Darryl Hein learned about the “deplorable” harassment of military mom Janene Walker of Sooke. On two separate occasions she was heckled for bringing her two children on shopping trips. Her husband is deployed in HMCS Whitehorse and she has no one to watch them.

“In this unfolding public health crisis, there are a small element of people who are quick to mind other people’s business and point fingers, and many of them are doing it with misinformation,” said Hein.

The store’s delivery van began delivering free-of charge orders on April 20 to military families living in Sooke, Langford, View Royal, and Esquimalt. The initiative is one way of letting military members know he and his staff support them.

“It’s just the Canadian thing for us to do, to let those who serve know we are all in this together.”

Unwarranted assaults

The 36-year-old stay-at-home mother faced profanity-laced verbal abuse from customers in a hardware store parking lot and at a grocery store in Langford in March because she had her children with her.

Her husband, LS Joe Walker, has been deployed in HMCS Whitehorse since Feb. 10. This has meant going it alone to manage the children, the home, and stocking up the refrigerator and pantry with kids in tow.

“I shouldn’t have to defend myself in pubic for trying to take care of my family,” she said.

Plus, she’s done the neighbourly thing and bought groceries for another military family in quarantine because of travelling outside Canada.

She is now determined not to let people bully her in public and act like “the pandemic police.”

Walker’s husband is one of approximately 650 personnel deployed in eight Royal Canadian Navy ships off the coast of Vancouver Island. They are at the ready to assist with COVID operations or other government needs if called upon.

The couple spoke about the two incidents and it took a toll on the sailor.

“It’s always difficult to be away from home for a long period of time, but when she is unhappy and I’m not there to comfort her it makes me feel powerless,” said LS Walker.

His mood changed when he learned of the store’s “generous offer” to assist his and other military families in the community.

“While my fellow sailors and I are engaged at sea in this time of crisis, it comforts me and makes me proud of my community that some local businesses are volunteering to help families who face hardships brought on by this crisis,” he said. 

In the coming days, LS Walker is expected to return home from deployment as part of a rotation where ships’ sailors spend four weeks at sea and then two weeks home under quarantine.

The most anticipated part of returning home, he says, will be reuniting with his wife and two children. His wife will then be able to make trips to the store without her children and the threat of being verbally harassed.

The Walker family.


Military families experiencing a deployment can order directly from
The Market on Millstream.

FREE Delivery and Assembly of grocery orders (minimum $50.00)

Offer valid for: 
Military Families experiencing a deployment ONLY

How to order: 
email order to: delivery2@themarketstores.com
or call 250-391-1110

Provide in your email: 
full name, address and phone number. The order desk will call you to confirm your order.

Delivery Areas: 
Westshore 7 days a week /
Sooke: Wednesday & Saturdays

Store Flyer:  


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