For Glenda Hall, the military has become an intrinsic part of her entire life.
When she originally joined in 1991 in Cape Breton, Hall’s goal was adventure.
“I grew up in a coal mining town and there wasn’t a lot of money for school,” she said.
“So I thought, why not try the military?”
Hall, who was trained to become a technician, was assigned the role of finance clerk after the forces underwent reductions.
“I have been posted from – either slept in a hotel or spent a lot of time in – every province and territory. Being a finance clerk I could work anywhere,” Hall told The Lake Report.
As for her favourite posting, that would be where she met her husband Steven.
“While on a United Nations tour in Israel, on the Israeli-Syrian border, he came in halfway through my tour,” she recalled.
“We met, hit it off and became great friends. Fast-forward four or five years we ended up on the same base and the rest is history,” she said.
Hall explained that many strangers are surprised she is a veteran given that she’s a younger woman, but she shares her pride where she can.
“I do taxes at H&R Block and I had a sticker on my phone. It was a picture of a pin-up girl as it said, ‘I’m not married to a veteran. I am a veteran.’ ” Hall said.
“I don’t know how many clients I’ve had who see that and say, ‘Oh, did you serve?’ and I tell them I did. It brings a certain understanding right away.”
Hall left the military in 2014, followed by her husband in 2018 and then they moved back home to his family farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Ever since, both have been helping out at the NOTL Legion.
This year, because a family member has fallen ill, the Halls were unable to help hand out poppies but urged each and every person to do what they can.
“It’s to support the older vets. It’s nice to see them coming out to the Legion and still being part of the organization in some way,” Hall said.
Donating to the poppy campaign will ensure support for those older veterans, she said.
“We wouldn’t be the country we are today without our military. As much as I treasured my career, all soldiers are people who help,” she said.
“To have people that are supporting our veterans and making sure they’re properly looked after, that’s what really matters.”