Lieutenant Governor’s Military Pin presented to veterans
- EFN Staff | November 10, 2014
Lt.-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield has a special place in her heart for veterans and she intends to honour each and every one of them she can find in Saskatchewan.
The lieutenant-governor recently invited several veterans, military personnel and police officers who had served overseas to a ceremony in Saskatoon to present each of them personally with The Lieutenant Governor’s Military Service Pin.
The Pin symbolizes the gratitude of the Crown and the people of Saskatchewan for those who have served with honour and valour. The pin is intended to be worn on civilian clothing, so people recognize those who serve when they are not in uniform.
“We owe the courageous people who have served our deep thanks every day,” said Lt-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield. “I intend to give a Pin to every veteran in the province and we have over 6000 nominations so far.”
Seven veterans from the First Nations Veterans Association were on hand to get their Pins on this evening. They posed with the lieutenant-governor for a photo, and kidded and teased each other before the presentations. Some, in true veteran fashion, even had fun with the lieutenant-governor when they received their medals.
Standing out from the crowd of veterans was the diminutive Virginia Pechawis. Tiny, but bright with life, she has a smile that lights up the room. The 88 year old from Mistawasis First Nation is the oldest First Nation woman veteran in Saskatchewan. She was 18 years old when she enlisted in the army in Prince Albert late during WWII. Being an 18 year old woman in 1944 Saskatchewan wasn’t easy. “Long time ago people looked down on us. We were poor. Dirty poor. I figured I’ll show them,” said Virginia.
She was in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and spent most of her time in Quebec City. When asked, she is humble about her contribution. “I didn’t do too much,” she said. “First they were going to put me in an office then I told them I had never worked in an office. So they put me in the kitchen and I did dishes all the time,” she laughed.
In total, Virginia served 13 months. The army was good to her except for one person. “When you were over there you sit with anybody. One day there was this girl. She was Irish and she didn’t like me. She made comments about me being native. So I went and sat by myself. At first I got mad then I figured we are all the same anyways. She not any better. I’m not any better.”
Now Virginia enjoys spending time with her family and going to powwows or the event with the lieutenant-governor. “I really enjoyed the army. Getting to know people. I showed I’m just as good as anybody.” And when it comes to hanging out with the veterans? “I don’t say much,” she laughs.
Virginia will proudly display her Lieutenant Governor’s Military Service Pin alongside her poppy. It is a simple pin that according to the lieutenant-governor means much. “The Pin is simple but has an image of a crown on it,” said Lt-Gov. Schofield. “It encompasses the principals of peace, freedom and justice. And it is the veterans that make this country great.”