Leading Seaman Taylor Marsh embraces Jessica Owens on the jetty at CFB Esquimalt Friday morning. HMCS Edmonton and Brandon returned home just in time for Christmas after a six-month deployment.

Sailors arrive home in time for holidays

It was an emotional day at CFB Esquimalt last week, as the crews of HMCS Edmonton and Brandon were reunited with their families

It was an emotional day at CFB Esquimalt last week, as the crews of HMCS Edmonton and Brandon were reunited with their families — just in time for Christmas.

Dozens of families hugged and kissed on the jetty Friday morning, many holding welcome home signs for their family members who haven’t been home in 71 days.

“It’s overwhelming. Just seeing the crowd of people, friends and family, everybody here being so warm and welcoming. It’s good to be back,” said Leading Seaman Garret Cross. “The atmosphere in Canada is so different from being down south. I just missed being home.”

Seeing Cross home for the first time in weeks brought tears to his girlfriend Rebecca Greenside’s eyes.

Greenside said the first few weeks after Cross left were difficult, but being able to contact him through email a few times a week helped the time pass.

But now, she’s looking forward to spending some much-needed time with her boyfriend of five years over the holidays.

“It’s really nice to have a full house,” Greenside said.

Malena was also excited to have her husband, Leading Seaman Beau Bennekou, home for Christmas and for him to hold their one-year-old daughter for the first time in weeks.

“It’s amazing (to have him home) because it’s been a long haul with lots of holidays missed,” she said, adding the most challenging part of a deployment is having to play both mother, father and teacher, since her two other children are home schooled.

During the six-week deployment, crews of HMCS Edmonton and Brandon took part in Operation Caribbe. As part of the operation, which is part of a multi-national campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational organized crime in the Caribbean basin and the eastern Pacific, the ships seized and disrupted roughly 2,820 kilograms of cocaine, while working with the U.S. Coast Guard and other law enforcement detachments.

“It was a wonderful deployment for us and another success for the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Lucas Kenward, commanding officer of HMCS Edmonton, adding he’s now looking forward to a great holiday with family.

“You’re physically bringing this contraband onto the ship and you know that contraband is no longer going to find its way into the stream in Canada or in the United States . . . Any drugs that we can get off the street are valuable.”

It was as exceptionally special trip for Lt.-Cmdr. Jolene Lisi. This was her first deployment as commanding officer of HMCS Brandon and with Operation Caribbe — one she called a phenomenal experience with tangible results.

Now she’ll prepare for another large task — doing laundry.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

Backyardigans, Max & Ruby stage shows add to Family Day in Sidney

Bodine Hall shows make room for kids to sing, dance, enjoy Family Day weekend

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes says municipality will re-group after Rowing Canada decision

Haynes said he is “quite disappointed” but also respects choice of North Cowichan as national centre

CRD committee proposes ending livestock payouts to farmers

The bylaw has existed since the creation of the CRD’s animal control service in 1979

Victoria city council sees full house to discuss 2019 budget

Wednesday’s Town Hall meeting saw a full house, in person and online

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

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

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Most Read