Wagar, Karl

Karl Wagar served in the Canadian Forces during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. Karl hails from the town of Deseronto, in Prince Edward County; he enlisted at the suggestion of a veteran he met at the local Legion, recalling that the decision set him on a better life path. He boarded that jet airplane at the age of 24, so he was a few years older than many of the recruits, but he excelled at basic training and enjoyed the opportunities that the Forces brought his way, notably the Safety Systems trade that he pursued. Karl’s most important role in this capacity was to prepare the pilots, dealing with flight suits and other issues that the pilots might encounter. Karl served on a number of bases in Canada, and his time in the Forces also included an overseas posting in Germany, where he happened to be stationed when the Berlin Wall came down. Karl was also there when Operation Desert Storm began, and he was transferred to Qatar during that conflict, where he was role was to prepare the CF-18 pilots and planes for their sorties. From those overseas postings, Karl returned to Canada, where most of the rest of his time in the Forces was spent in Trenton, where he and a team worked on oxygen regulators and other elements of the safety systems protocol, earning an award for their efforts.
Karl was interviewed for this project in July 2018, when Scott Masters met him at the Deseronto Legion, who we thank for helping us to coordinate this interview.