MARPAC supports Camp Boomer

Camille Douglas, Friends of Boomer’s Legacy BC PR/ communications, joins Christine Meyer, Senior Manager Strategic Communications, Corporate Services Division, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, on the walk/ run circuit at Camp Boomer. The pair had been working together for Boomer’s Legacy - this was their first time meeting in person. They are carrying fallen soldier bio cards. Photo by John’s Photography

Camille Douglas, Friends of Boomer’s Legacy BC PR/ communications, joins Christine Meyer, Senior Manager Strategic Communications, Corporate Services Division, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, on the walk/ run circuit at Camp Boomer. The pair had been working together for Boomer’s Legacy – this was their first time meeting in person. They are carrying fallen soldier bio cards. Photo by John’s Photography

CPO2 Ron Eccles, FMF Cape Breton ~

“Helping Our Soldiers Help Others at Home and Abroad” is the motto of the Boomer’s Legacy Foundation named in honour of Cpl Andrew “Boomer” Eykelenboom, a medic who was killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber on Aug. 11, 2006.

Andrew was committed to saving lives and helping the Afghan people realize freedom; his death was the catalyst to creating the Foundation to help men and women in uniform make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Over the past 10 years, the primary fundraiser for the Foundation was the Boomer’s Ride which saw up to 100 cyclists ride over two days from CFB Comox to Victoria.  This year saw a new fundraiser with Camp Boomer that took place at the Glacier Arena outside of CFB Comox on Saturday June 16. 

Based on a military theme, there were numerous military displays and demonstrations open to the public, and participants had six hours to walk, run or cycle two different routes.  All participants carried or wore two “Soldier Cards” to honour a member of the CAF who has given their life in the service of their country since 2002.

Maritime Forces Pacific demonstrations and displays included a small contingent from the Naden Band, 11 Field Ambulance, and Naval Reserve Divers from HMCS Malahat. Participation in the walk, run and cycling event was conducted by a combined MARPAC Team of CPO1 Michel Vincelette, Lt(N) Sean Milley, OS Cedrick Delisle, NCdt Kathrine Hembruff and NCdt Carrie Magannon, sailors from STV Goldcrest, LS Doug Coates from CFB Halifax Trinity Detachment Whidbey Island, and myself, CPO2 Ron Eccles from FMF Cape Breton. 

Opening ceremonies of Camp Boomer included a short motivational speech from Captain (Retired) Trevor Greene who survived a massive brain injury from an axe attack to his head while conducting a conversation with tribal elders in Afghanistan March 4, 2006. 

Some displays and demonstrations included a Cormorant hoist demonstration, open aircraft at the Military Aircraft Air Park, Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs service dogs for veterans with PTSD, and STV Goldcrest tours at the Comox Marina. 

At the end of the day, closing ceremonies included a tribute to the fallen with a “Wall of Remembrance” of the Soldier Cards honouring those from Afghanistan and other CAF personnel who have died in the line of duty since 2002.

The Boomer’s Legacy Foundation is now part of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) Soldier On “Support Our Troops” program. Ships and deployed personnel have access to these funds prior to deployment in order to assist any charity or humanitarian work the ship may wish to do during any port visit. 

Funds can be used to purchase items prior to deployment (toys or school books for children, household amenities that may not be available in impoverished countries) or the funds can be used or distributed during a port visit (purchase desks for a school, paint a hospital).

Ships that wish to access funds from the Boomer’s Legacy Foundation for charity work while deployed, or even here at home, can contact Sandy Gauthier by clicking here.

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