McDonald, Kelvin

Kelvin McDonald served in the Canadian Forces from the 1970s to the 1990s.  During that time he was deployed as a peacekeeper on multiple occasions, helping to set a high bar for Canadians serving overseas.  Kelvin was first deployed to Egypt, maintaining the peace along the Sweetwater Canal during the time of the Egypt-Israel 1973 War.  Shortly after, he went to Cyprus, where Canadians had for a decade kept the warring Greeks and Turks apart.  Kelvin also served as an instructor in multiple roles in the Canadians Forces, going up the ranks from corporal to sergeant along the way.  By the 1980s he was deployed overseas again, this time to Croatia, where the difficult Yugoslavian civil war of that decade was underway.  Kelvin recalls the tensions of the time, in particular a prisoner exchange that he was asked to oversee.  But the most difficult peacekeeping mission of his career lay ahead, and it happened in Canada – Oka.  Mohawks outside Montreal had set up barricades as part of a land protest, and Kelvin was asked to lead his men into the fray and to use restraint in diffusing the conflict.  It was a stressful time for him and his troopers.  Kelvin retired from duty after 28 years, and he presently lives in Deseronto, Ontario, where he was interviewed by Mr. Masters at the Legion hall in July 2018.


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