Capital Region’s flags unfurled in Afghanistan

Esquimalt-based military reservist creates a ‘visual reminder’ of home

Maj. Hugh Carter

As one of the last military reservists from the Capital Region to serve in Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan, Maj. Hugh Carter made it his personal mission to bring a bit of home with him to the war-torn nation.

In doing so, he has helped forge a stronger connection between the historic mission and several municipalities in Greater Victoria.

After seeing other military personnel fly their hometown flags at various Canadian camps in Afghanistan, Carter decided to do something similar “as a closure to the mission and our combat role.”

While home on leave last October, he collected municipal flags from Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay and the Esquimalt Dockyard branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

While in Afghanistan he had photos taken of himself and another Island reservist holding the flags at the war memorial at the Kandahar Airfield military camp.

“These were the last flags to actually be there when we closed down the operations and moved to our training mission,” said Carter, an Esquimalt resident who serves with Edmonton-based Land Force Western Area, one of four Canadian Army commands.

During a recent Victoria governance and priorities committee meeting, Mayor Dean Fortin asked Carter to tell the story of where Victoria’s flag had been.

“It’s a visual reminder of those members of our society that do public service and serve in our armed forces, and it’s an opportunity to honour them,” Fortin said.

The photo of the flag at the war memorial now hangs in council chambers. The flag itself will one day either be flown again in the city or permitted to travel elsewhere.

Dockyard Legion branch manager Doug Grant was thrilled when Carter asked to take the Legion’s flag to Afghanistan.

“It just struck the hearts of the people here when we talked about it,” Grant said.

He plans to add the treasured item to the branch’s Wall of Heroes tribute, which features the photos of Canadians who died during Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan.

“We’re going to stand the flag down,” Grant said. “It will never be flown again.”

Esquimalt’s flag has also been returned. Oak Bay will receive its flag in the coming weeks.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

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

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

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

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

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

Most Read