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

Watchdog group says Saanich council needs a ‘reality check’ about taxes

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria warns of eroding housing affordability in Saanich

Time-lapse video shows weekend work on McKenzie Interchange project

Construction crews place concrete underpass bridge beams

‘Best in the country’: Formerly homeless man praises Victoria’s outreach services

Jay W. was living on the streets of downtown Victoria in 2018

Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

View Royal fire chief asks for an end to alcohol consumption at busy park

City of Victoria plans workshop to determine fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Conversations will happen as part of a reconciliation dialogue series in May 2020

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Most Read