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Canadian military members reflect on helping during a disaster close to home

Cpl. Daniel MacFarlane and Cpl. Kera Lanouette didn't have power at their own home for 10 days following post-tropical storm Fiona, but say they were focused on doing what they could to help others. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
Military members were out in force in the aftermath of post-tropical storm Fiona to help Islanders who were struggling to recover. 

Among them were Cpl. Daniel MacFarlane and Cpl. Kera Lanouette who spent many hours helping Islanders impacted by post-tropical storm Fiona.

The couple would work together much of the time.

“Most of the time we got home, got ready for bed and just fell asleep real fast … we were pretty tired by the end of the day,” Lanouette said.

Brian Higgins/CBC
‘Felt it was our responsibility’ 

MacFarlane said following Fiona, they didn’t have power at their own home for 10 days, but they were focused on doing what they could to help others.

“I mean that’s part of why we joined the reserves because we want to give back to the community and for reserves doing domestic operations like this, this is our bread and butter. This is what we trained to do. So, we just felt it was our responsibility,” MacFarlane said.

“There was a lot of honking. There’s a lot of people waving at us saying thank you…. Just overall, like, gratitude was the number one thing.”

Lanouette said being a couple and working together after a natural disaster like Fiona had its benefits.

Brian Higgins/CBC
“I find it’s easier that if we go out somewhere or we go on a course or on this operation, we have someone that we can lean on that understands what we’re going through,” she said. 

“Yah, exactly. I couldn’t have said it better,” said MacFarlane.

‘It’s what we do’

Trooper Daylin Andrew is a welder and landscaper, but after post-tropical storm Fiona, the reservist spent weeks helping cut down trees and clear away debris.

He said he put his name forward and was glad to get the call to help.

Andrew said he spent most of his time working long days in eastern P.E.I.

“It’s what I’m used to right? It’s what we do…. We come in, we help as long as they need the help, and then we’re on to the next task. Which for me was my civilian job,” he said.

Brian Higgins/CBC
During the days following Fiona, Andrew was on the road, while his family dealt with the aftermath back at home. 

“My mother didn’t have a generator for the first portion. But my step-dad’s work helped and donated the generator for those few days so that we were there, so that helps a little bit.

He said that’s part of what he loves about P.E.I.

While he was helping the community, the community was helping his family.

Brian Higgins/CBC
“It just kind of reinforced what I love about doing my job…. It was good to see that the community knows that we’re out here doing our work,” he said. 

Help welcomed by Islanders

Cpl. Travis Brown is an automotive service technician.

He was also deployed to clean up debris, and as well as to conduct wellness checks after Fiona.

“People were extremely happy to see us out and about and we got lots of thank yous. There were people giving us free coffee and it was great,” he said.

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brown says he’d start at 7:30 a.m. and go until 9 p.m. 

“My wife had to do most things without me unfortunately because we didn’t have electricity either and we’re not on city water out in Marshfield. So she had to obtain water and run the generator, get fuel for the generator. That was a big one, getting fuel for the generator.”

He learned a lot about P.E.I., and himself during the cleanup.

“There’s a lot of trees on P.E.I. I definitely got quite a bit better with a chainsaw by the end of it. I was fairly adept before, but I feel like I’m a professional now … there were a few people, their entire lane was blocked. So you know, we cleared their lane for them.”

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brown said he loves the relationships he’s made as part of the regiment. 

“The camaraderie here at the regiment is second to none. We all clicked extremely well. I really enjoy everything that comes with the military.”

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Credit belongs to : ca.news.yahoo.com

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