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|February 18 2010 - The Western Sentinel|
When they joined the Army, little did they know that one day they would help tell the story of Canadian Airborne soldiers.
WO Eric Miles, WO John McNabb and Sgt Lorne Ford, all soldiers in 3 PPCLI, recently participated in the making of a documentary called “Paratroopers - The Canadian Story.”...
The Western Sentinel
Lt Wright Eruebi
LFWA Public Affairs
Published: February 18, 2010
EDMONTON —When they joined the Army, little did they know that one day they would help tell the story of Canadian Airborne soldiers. WO Eric Miles, WO John McNabb and Sgt Lorne Ford, all soldiers in 3 PPCLI, recently participated in the making of a documentary called “Paratroopers - The Canadian Story.”
Movie producer and director, Dixon Christie met the three soldiers on Jan. 17 at CFB Edmonton in the 3 PPCLI Headquarters. Sitting in an office-turned movie set, the director coaxed the soldiers to share their experiences while cameras rolled. “’Paratroopers’ is a full length documentary movie that will tell the definitive story and history of Canadian Paratroopers through archive movie footage, archive photographs, live re-enactments and detailed interviews of veterans,” said Christie. His aim is to balance the storyline between the historical accounts told by past veterans and serving soldiers.
According to the Associate Producer, Capt (Ret’d) Bill Dickson, a former Patricia and member of the Canadian Airborne Regiment, these three soldiers each embody a depth of experience worthy of the project. It’s Dickson’s job to find “talent” for the documentary and he found it with WO Miles, WO McNabb and Sgt Ford.
For example, WO Miles has 30 years as an infantry soldier, and recently returned from Afghanistan. In total, he has deployed overseas six times. Seven years of his career were with 2 Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment at CFB Petawawa, and he has 175 static line jumps to his credit. United States and German jump wings are today part of his CF dress uniform. WO McNabb has served 20 years and his career is just as colourful. He also was with 2 Commando, and has deployed on four overseas tours, including Afghanistan in 2008.
McNabb is a qualified jumpmaster and also serves as a parachute instructor. When an American F-16 “Falcon” pilot made an unauthorized decision to bomb a Canadian training position at Tarnak Farms near Kandahar in April 2002, Sgt Lorne Ford survived it - though barely. Ford seldom discusses the night shrapnel from the 225-Kilogram bomb tore out one of his eyes and nearly sheared off a foot. The attack felled four of Ford’s comrades and maimed seven others.
But in “Paratroopers,” Sgt Ford talks. “The documentary-movie brings the viewer up through the various stages of paratrooper participation in Canada’s Military from the development of the parachute role in Canada to the first drop into Normandy on D-Day to Varsity, to paratroopers who served in Korea, Vietnam, Cyprus, Somalia, and present day Afghanistan,” according to the documentary website at www.paratroopers.ca.
Production began 14-months ago, and the producers have criss-crossed Canada interviewing over 150 veterans, including Mr. Jack Cathie, a Second World War veteran and the oldest living Patricia. The Edmonton-based Christie says he is motivated by “the sacrifice Canadian soldiers have made” and that is why he wants to help tell their story.
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