In retirement, Frank Hawboldt continues to care for fellow vets

Frank Hawboldt, now 75, first joined the Legion in 1963 while stationed in Gagetown, N.B.

“It was discovered that ladies appeared at the local branch of the Legion in Fredericton most Fridays and Saturdays, so we thought we’d go in.”

He and his friends were met at the door by what Hawboldt called “a couple of really old dogs” who told them they couldn’t enter until they were members of the Legion, even when they were in full uniform. It was affordable at the time, but something else sealed the deal for him.

“They said, ‘if no one else cares when it comes time for you to leave the planet, we will. And we’ll wrap you in an old army blanket and send you off to where soldiers are quite comfortable. Well, what can you do with that? You have to take that deal, so we did, and I’ve never looked back.’”

Now he is the membership chair for the Saanich Peninsula Legion Branch, and he does it to remind the next generation of the sacrifices made by veterans and their families.

“The Legion provides a port in almost every storm, and it’s obviously a familiar place for anyone that’s military.”

The Saanich Peninsula branch on Mills Rd. is quite small, so they are only open on Saturdays.

“It’s a time to reflect and a time to remember. And having served almost 30 years in the military in medical services, you meet a lot of people and of course you lose a lot of people.”

Hawboldt spent 28 years in the Canadian military from 1961-1989, serving during a remarkable period of change for the Canadian Forces. Among many career highlights, he served as a preventative medicine technician in the Six-Day War and traveled to Denmark for joint exercises to prepare for a potential war with the Soviets.

While earlier soldiers were taught to always shoot to kill, Hawboldt noticed a shift in the middle of his career.

“It’s so easy to get into a mindset that your enemy needs to die, as opposed to, maybe your enemy needs to be redirected.”

The objective, he said, was not to create Rambo-effect with warriors, but rather to align them with a peacekeeping aspect or rationale.

Hawboldt wants more younger vets to join the Legion, but notes that anyone can join, whether they are a veteran or not. He thinks that social media should make it easier to spread the message, but he still thinks more people should know about the horrors of war.

“Nov. 11 calls upon us to remember those of us who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and that’s extremely important because history has a way of repeating itself.”

When any aspiring soldier asks him for advice on what to expect, his answer is that “your career will be far different from mine. You’ll be called upon to do things quite different from what I was asked to do, but you’ll thoroughly enjoy it because you do it in service of your country.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously described a meat draw held in co-operation with the Army, Navy, & Air Force Veterans Unit 302 (ANAVETS). In fact, they hold separate meat draws.

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Parents still seek clarity for future of Victor School

Motion avoided to remove special needs Victor School from boundary review proposal

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Head of Victoria homebuilders says provincial budget won’t solve housing crisis

Casey Edge of Victoria Residential Builders Association dismisses more modular housing as a band-aid

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

Most Read