The Town of LaSalle is proud to highlight stories from our local veterans.

Submit a Local Veteran's Story

This webpage is dedicated to showcasing the history of our local service veterans. If you know of a local veteran from LaSalle, or the former Township of Sandwich-West, and would like to highlight their story of service to Canada and their connection to LaSalle, please submit a form.

World War II Veterans

The Second World War was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. Canada's Army, Air Force and Navy played key roles in the war effort, including repelling the Luftwaffe air raids and engaging in battles at Dieppe and Normandy.

Harry Bondy

Young Harry Bondy in uniform

Harry, eldest son of Harvey and Isabelle Bondy of Windsor, Ontario, was born in September of 1915. He became a member of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment and 1939 married Marie Norah (Paddon) also of Windsor. Soon after, when war broke out, he joined the RCNVR and served as Chief Engine Room Artificer (maintainer and operator of all ship mechanicals) until 1945 including four years sea time in the Atlantic. Post war, he was a very active member of the RCN Reserve Unit, HMCS Hunter, especially the Chief and Petty Officers Mess. 

Harry and Norah moved to LaSalle where they settled into their home located behind Colonel Bishop School to raise their 8 children. Harry worked for Phil Woods Industries in Windsor, then Revenue Canada in their Windsor office where he organized and built a filing wall for the many different forms people needed. They were both very active with Sacred Heart Church and many community organizations. Harry could often be found tinkering around in his workshop/garage.

Harry and Norah were always there with a helping hand to anyone that needed it, whether it be to build or repair something, a meal or just a friend to lean on. Harry passed away in January 1975. 

Martin Victor Bondy

Martin Bondy in front of the Canada Flag in uniformYoung Martin Bondy aboard the HMCS Matane

Martin was born in the Township of Sandwich West. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in March of 1943. He served as an able seaman in the Atlantic Theatre on several ships including the Frigate HMCS Matane (K-444), the Mine Layer HMCS Whitethroat, and the Corvette HMCS Collingwood (K-180). Martin served on the Matane (EG-9) as an anti-aircraft gunner and was involved in the Battle of the Atlantic as well as Operation Overlord (D-Day) in June of 1944 in Normandy. The EG-9 Group was credited with 6 German U-Boat kills, including the destruction of Nazi submarine U-311 in the North Atlantic.

D-Day and Normandy Landings

While patrolling along the English Channel during D-Day and the Normandy Landings, Matane came under German glider bomber attack. The attack left Matane damaged and killed four seaman along with some thirty more injured. Martin lost the hearing in his right ear, partially in the left, and suffered nerve damage to his legs.

A ship on choppy water in black and whiteA hull of a ship showing damage after an attack in black and white

For his service in the war, Martin returned home a war hero and received numerous medals and decorations. After the war, Martin returned to the Township of Sandwich West and married his wife, Mabel. Martin and Mabel had six children and were married for over sixty years. Martin continued his involvement in the Navy Veteran's Club and was also a supporter of the LaSalle Minor Hockey Association. Martin volunteered in his community with numerous organizations including Windsor Goodfellows and the Royal Canadian Legion LaSalle branch. Martin passed away in 2008 but Martin's family has continued his legacy by donating a memorial in his honour to the Town of LaSalle. This memorial is installed at the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex for all to see.

Raymond John Crough

Raymond John CroughRaymond John Crough

 Ray was a very proud and highly-decorated veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy (WWII) and the American Army (Korean War and Occupied Japan). During the Battle of the Atlantic, Ray served aboard HMCS Halifax, a flower-class corvette. For his dedicated service, he received the following medals:

Service Medals issued by the Government of Canada
  • 1939-1945 Star
  • Atlantic Star (Battle of the Atlantic)
  • Defence Medal (Defence of Great Britain)
  • Volunteer Medal
  • War Medal
Service medals issued by the Government of the United States of America
  • Army of Occupation Medal (Japan)
  • American Defense Service Medal
  • Korean Service Medal
  • United Nations Service Medal

After the war, Ray settled down in LaSalle (then the Township of Sandwich West) with his wife Joyce. Together they raised three children in the community and were married 49 years when Joyce passed in 2003. Ray passed away in 2015.

Ray was a lifetime member of the RCNA, long-time member of the HMCS Hunter, the War Pensioners and Legion Branch 594. Ray was a member of the colour guard for the Navy Club. Ray was a dedicated employee of Chrysler for 29 years. He was also an usher with St. Paul’s Church for 40 years and a volunteer with Hotel Dieu Hospital. He enjoyed playing darts with the Knights of Columbus River Canard and the Navy Club.

Eugene John and Margaret Dupuis

Eugene John and Margaret Dupuis

Eugene John Dupuis and Margaret Dupuis (née O'Brien) married while serving overseas during World War II. Eugene was stationed in England and Margaret was stationed in France. After the war, Eugene and Margaret settled in LaSalle. They lived in LaSalle on Victory Street for nearly 70 years. 

Beatrice A. Girard

A young Beatrice Girard in nursing uniform

Captain Beatrice A. Girard, born 1906, served as a nursing sister from 1942 to 1945. Beatrice was born and raised in LaSalle. In 1928, she graduated from the Hotel Dieu nursing program and worked at a sanatorium. She enlisted with the R.C.A.M.C (Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps) and was hired by the S.A.M.N.S. (South African Military Nursing Service). She was stationed at various hospitals in South Africa and Egypt, while finally being transported to England in 1945. After her return from service in 1945, Beatrice continued working in Windsor and Detroit before moving to California to continue her nursing career. She returned back to the Town of Sandwich West (LaSalle) in 1976. Beatrice passed away in 1994, but still has family in the area.

William L. Hazael

William Hazael smiling wearing a suit and a poppy with medalsYoung William Hazael wearing his uniform

William Hazael was born in 1927 to Edwin and Mary Hazael in Kingsville. At a young age, the Hazael family relocated to the former Township of Sandwich West. William attended grade school in LaSalle and went to Sandwich Collegiate Institute from 1941 until 1943, when he left prematurely to serve in the Canadian Forces. William's father, Edwin, also served in the Canadian Army during the First World War

In April of 1943, William joined the Merchant Marines and served with the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserves (RCNVR). From there, William was assigned to a ship in Nova Scotia, but was sent to Halifax too late to board it. He was then reassigned to HMCS Laurier. The ship that William missed was subsequently sunk in the Atlantic. William continued to serve in the Navy until his honourable discharge in 1945. 

After the war, he returned back home to the Township of Sandwich West and met his future wife, Marguerite. The two married in 1949 and settled their family home on Disputed Road. Marguerite and William raised three children together. William's pride for his country and love of his community followed him his entire life. William was one of the first volunteers to join the newly formed Sandwich West Fire Department. He served as a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant. William passed in 2009, but his family continues to live in the Town of LaSalle today.

Royal (Roy) Hazael

Young Roy Hazael in uniformHeadstone for Royal Hazael with a poppy on it

Military service runs in the Hazael family. William's eldest brother, Royal, also served during the war. Royal was a Pilot Officer and tail gunner assigned to the RCAF 431 squadron. He served in a Lancaster bomber and then in a Halifax bomber. In April 1944, while out on a night patrol in his Halifax bomber, Royal's plane and its crew were fired upon by enemy flak. The plane was shot down over Belgium. Royal was one of four casualties from the incident and one of 45,000 Canadian service member casualties during the Second World War. He is buried in the Town of Wilrijk, Belgium. Although Royal could not return home, his memory lived on and his service shall never be forgotten.

For more information on Royal's mission and sacrifice, visit his Veterans Affairs memorial page.

Enos L. Howson

Enos Howson smiling with a grey suit and white flowerYoung Enos Howson standing in front of a brick wall wearing his uniform

Enos Howson was enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942. Enos served as a Chef at Canadian Air Force bases Centralia, Trenton and St. Jean. Enos was honourably discharged from service in 1945 at the conclusion of the war and returned to his native Essex County where he and his wife started their family.

In the early 1950s, Enos and his wife, Ruby, moved into a rural farm property on Malden Road in the heart of the Township of Sandwich West. Enos and Ruby raised their five children in the Township. As a farmer and family man, Enos and his wife grew vegetables and other crops on their farm to donate to those that needed it. During the summertime, Enos was employed by the Township of Sandwich West to maintain vacant lots and keep the Township looking clean. Today, Enos and Ruby's property is still in the family where one of their son still resides on Malden Road. Enos passed away at the age of 70, but is survived by ample grandchildren and great-grandchildren who reside in the Town of LaSalle today.

Willis H. Ingram

Young Willis Ingram in uniform

Willis (Bill) Ingram enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1939. He worked as a cipher operator decoding messages in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in the 4th Canadian Armoured Division. In March of 1943, Willis was sent to Europe where he was stationed throughout the continent in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. 

As first published in the LaSalle Silhouette (May, 1998), the message that Willis best remembers arrived just after 1:00 am on May 5, 1945. The message read: All offensive operations cancelled forthwith. Cease fire 0800 hours 5 May 1945. All units stand fast until further orders.

Willis and his army unit celebrated when this message came through, signalling the end of conflict in Europe with the fall of Nazi Germany and its European allies. Each year, Canadians remember VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) which signals the end of WWII in Europe. VJ Day (Victory in Japan Day) is commemorated in August to remember the surrender of Japan and the end of all conflict.

Willis returned to the Windsor area after the war and married in 1946. He built his family home in the Oliver Farms subdivision of LaSalle. Willis passed in 2003, but still has family in the LaSalle area.

Ralph Munholland, M.D. (Ret.)

Ralph Munholland smiling Young Ralph Munholland sitting down on a brick wall in uniform

Ralph Munholland enlisted into the Canadian Army in August 1942 as a recruit. Within a few months, Ralph achieved and succeeded the ranks of Lance Corporal, Corporal and Sergeant before being sent to Officer's School in Victoria. Ralph achieved the rank of First Lieutenant and was sent to Garrison Petawawa, which is still an active Canadian military base. At Petawawa, Ralph joined a tank squadron before being transferred to the National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa as a Staff Officer. 

Ralph met his wife in 1946 and married in 1947, after which he attended McGill with a surgical and medical degree in 1952. Ralph and his wife raised four sons and one daughter. Ralph opened an office in what was then the Township of Sandwich West, until the area was annexed by the City of Windsor. Ralph continued practicing until 1985 when an injury lead him to retirement. Today, Ralph still lives in the Town of LaSalle.

In November 2021, Ralph was interviewed by CBC Windsor about his war service.

Howard Paddon

Howard Paddon in a suit smilingYoung Howard Paddon in uniform

Howard was born in 1925 in Windsor. He attended St. Anthony’s elementary school and Assumption High School. He was one of four Paddon brothers (Howard, Weymouth, Norris and Neil) to enlist in the Royal Canadian Navy. When Howard’s older brother Weymouth Paddon became the first Windsor casualty of war, Howard voluntarily enlisted in March of 1943 at the age of 17. He originally trained as a shipwright in Cornwallis, Halifax but was reassigned as a gunner on Canadian River Class Frigate HMCS Orkney. These vessels were the first Royal Canadian Navy warships to carry advanced horizontal fan echo sonar. This allowed the ship to more efficiently hunt and destroy enemy submarines.

Howard was proud to represent his country. Howard respects the core values of the navy: duty, integrity, loyalty and courage.

After the war, Howard married Stella in 1951 and together the pair raised four children. He was a carpenter by trade and built their family home in Lasalle where they lived for over 60 years. Howard and Stella were active members in the community and Howard enjoyed many years singing in the Sacred Heart church choir. He enjoyed helping neighbours and friends with repair jobs and carpentry projects.

Howard passed away in 2021.

Leon (Leo) Joseph Paré

Headstone wrapped in poppies for Leon Paré

Leon Paré, known as Leo, was the son of Richard and Louise Paré. The family had a family farm in the Petite Cote area, now known as LaSalle. Leo enlisted in 1941 at the rank of Private (Pte) and was a member of the Highland Light Infantry Regiment, 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd division. Leo joined the regiment in March 1945, in preparation for the Rhineland Offensive.

One of Canada's most important operations during World War II was the Liberation of the Netherlands. The people of the Netherlands were starved and suffered severe hardship under Nazi Germany control. From the Fall of 1944 to the Spring of 1945, the Canadian Army fought fiercely against German forces to liberate the country village by village. Under Major-General Vokes, Leo and the Highland Light Infantry encountered the enemy at Twente Canal in Holland near the German border. This was another crucial battle that the Canadian Army won on its path to liberating the Netherlands. During this battle, Leo was killed in action at the age of 25.

Leo is buried at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands. In 2014, Leo's nephew was the first of his family to visit the cemetery and held a gravesite memorial service. During the service, soil from the gravesite of Leo's mother, Louise, was added to Leo's grave. Soil from the Netherlands was also brought back to LaSalle to add to Louise's grave. Leo's brother Arthur would later serve as the Chief of Police for the Town of LaSalle in the 1950s. Leo's family still resides throughout LaSalle today.

For more information on Leo's mission and sacrifice, visit his Veterans Affairs memorial page.

Frances Parr

Frances Parr sitting on a couch smilingYoung Frances Parr in uniform

Frances Parr graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. After graduation, she enlisted in the Naval Forces of Canada in 1943 and was stationed at HMCS Shelburne (Base) in Nova Scotia. Frances served in the Women's Royal Naval Service (known as Wrens) and achieved the rank of Lieutenant. After the war, Frances was honourably discharged in December of 1945. 

Frances met her husband, John Parr, while in the WRNS and built their family home in the Township of Sandwich West. Their four children were raised in the family home by John and Frances. Frances passed away in 2021.

Marc J. Renaud

Marc Renaud and wife smilingYoung Marc Renaud in uniform

Marc Renaud, son of William and Elizabeth, was born in June, 1920. The family lived in LaSalle and ran a successful family farm on Front Road. Marc served in the Highland Light Infantry Regiment, 3rd division from 1942 until his discharge in 1945. After the war, he continued to run the family farm in LaSalle. Although Marc passed in 1989, he is survived by an extensive family of three children, ten grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren, some of whom still reside in LaSalle today.

Leonard Robinet

Leonard RobinetPicture of Young Leonard Robinet in a frame with medalsNews Article about Robinet being listed as a Prisoner of War

Leonard Robinet was a soldier in the Algonquin Regiment during World War II. In September of 1942, he left home to take a basic training instructor course in Calgary. In March of 1943, Leonard was stationed as a Sergeant  in Aldershot, England. His duties included training new recruits. Leonard was asked to remain in England to continue training soldiers, but instead chose to fight alongside his regiment on mainland Europe.

Originally reported as missing in September of 1944, Leonard was captured and taken Prisoner of War (POW) during the battle of Leopold Canal in Belgium. With only his summer clothing, thin wool blanket and little food, Leonard spent the harsh winter months in a prison camp in Northern Germany until liberation in June 1945. While in custody, Len managed to pass a note through the prison bars to let his wife Marie know that he was still alive. The note successfully made its way back to Marie. When released from the prison camp, Leonard was severely ill with tuberculosis and weighed only 85 pounds. He was hospitalized for several weeks in London, England until he was strong enough to return to Canada. For the next year, Leonard received care in London(Ontario), and Windsor until he was finally well enough to go to home to Marie in June 1946.

Len and Marie purchased their family home in the Township of Sandwich West and raised 10 children together. Leonard worked as an independent milkman at Twin Pines Dairy and eventually built up seven milk routes in Windsor and LaSalle. In his later years, he went on to fulfill his dream of becoming a farmer. Len passed away in 2011, but still has family in the area. 

Donald E. Sharon

Don and Ruth SharonDon Sharon

Don was a Second World War veteran. He joined the Canadian Army, Armoured Corp Division, and served overseas in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Switzerland. When the conflict overseas ended, Don served as a Program Engineer with Canadian Forces Radio Service, before returning to Canada in 1946. Don remained proudly active with the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps for many years, retiring as Captain with the Windsor Regiment.

Don also worked in broadcasting with CKLW for 46 years.

Don supported various organizations and community groups including minor hockey associations. Don passed in 2007. His wife, Ruth, passed in 2021. Ruth was a well known columnist for many newspapers including the LaSalle Post and Silhouette where she provided cooking instructions and ideas. Don and Ruth Sharon lived in LaSalle for over 20 years and are surrounded by family in the area including 6 children, 17 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren.  

George Soanes

A side by side of George and a younger version of himself in uniform

George Soanes enlisted in early 1942 in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve and served from 1942 until his honourable discharge in 1945. George served as a Stoker First Class. During the invasion of France in June of 1944, George served on HMCS Qu'Appelle, a Canadian River-Class Destroyer. As part of the invasion forces, the HMCS Qu'Appelle served as U-Boat patrol on the outer rim of the Atlantic. George would also later serve on HMCS Peregrine, HMCS Shelburne and HMCS Hunter.

After the war, George purchased property in the Oliver Farms subdivision in the Township of Sandwich West. Together, George and his wife Eileen raised four children in the Township. Today, three of those children reside within the Oliver Farms neighbourhood in the Town of LaSalle.

George currently lives in the LaSalle area and is 96 years old.

Roy Wigle

Private Roy Wigle

Roy Wigle enlisted in the Essex Scottish Regiment during World War II and achieved the rank of Private. Roy died at the age of 22 in August 1942 during the Dieppe Raid, along with nearly 1000 other Canadian deaths during the battle. Roy has relatives that still live in LaSalle and the surrounding areas today.

Visit Private Wigle's virtual online war memorial to learn more about the sacrifice he made to Canada.

Korean War Veterans

The Korean War started on 25 June 1950, when North Korean troops invaded South Korea. United Nations forces soon joined the fighting, which would rage until an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. More than 26,000 Canadians served on land, at sea and in the air during this bitter conflict. Sadly, 516 Canadians died. Long seen as a forgotten war, the Korean War is now recognized as an important chapter in Canada's military history.

Chuck Milks

Chuck Milks

Chuck Milks enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in February 1948. Chuck held the rank of Leading Seamen in the RCN and spent 18 months in Korea. Most of Chuck's tour was spent in active war zones. Chuck left the RCN in February of 1953 to return to his wife who was pregnant with their first child at the time. Subsequently, Chuck enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1954 where he remained until 1969 and achieved the rank of Sergeant. Much of Chuck's career in the RCAF was spent stationed in the North West Territories in the Air Defense Command.

Chuck passed away in 2022. Chuck was given a burial at sea in Halifax, NS, by the Royal Canadian Navy.

William 'Bill' Thomas

William Thomas

Bill enlisted in the Canadian Army as a Private in 1954 and was subsequently deployed to Korea. Bill remained in the Army for 3 years. Upon his return to the LaSalle area, Bill enrolled in the Police Academy School in Aylmer, ON.  He became a police officer with the Windsor Police Service and retired with 30 years of service.

Afghanistan Veterans

The first Canadian Armed Forces contribution to the campaign against terrorism in Southwest Asia and Afghanistan came at sea in October 2001. Canada remained committed to keeping the peace in the war-torn country and was essential in supporting various NATO operations. 

Cyril Cheng

Cyril Cheng

Cyril Cheng moved to the Township of Sandwich West in 1979 with his family. He grew up in Sandwich West and graduated from Sandwich Secondary School. In 1982, Cyril enrolled with the Essex and Kent Scottish regiment where he remained with the regiment until his retirement in 2017. He achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer and was appointed as the Regimental Sergeant Major. Cyril continues to live in LaSalle today.

Chief Warrant Officer Cheng's overseas deployments include:

  • 1984 in Germany: Member of the Canadian forces to augment the regular infantry battalion during Operation Flyover.
  • 1985-86 in Cyprus: Member of the Canadian peacekeeping operation.
  • 2001, 2003 in Bosnia: Team Operations Warrant of a specialized covert intelligence team.
  • 2008-09 in Afghanistan: Operated as Team Commander mentoring the Afghan Army while on combat operations.

In addition to his overseas deployments for peacekeeping and military missions, CWO Cheng was the Parade Sergeant Major in August 2012 in Dieppe, France for the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.

CWO Cheng's brother, Captain Cletus Cheng also served in the Canadian Forces but passed away in the line of duty in 1995. Captain Cheng made the ultimate sacrifice for Canada. We shall never forget him.

Mike Akpata, C.D.

Mike AkpataMike Akpata

Michael Akpata (MCpl) joined the primary reserve of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1987. Mike served with the Essex and Kent Scottish (Infantry). He was deployed to Afghanistan in January 2007 as part of Task Force Afghanistan Operation Athena Task force 1-07 (Roto 3) with 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment. Master Corporal Akpata served in force protection 2 Platoon in RG-31 armoured vehicles escorting convoys through the Canadian area of operations. For his service in Afghanistan, Mike received the Campaign star medal for Afghanistan, the task Force Commander's Commendation, and the Area Commander's Commendation. He also has received a Canadian Forces decoration (C.D.) for his years of service.
Upon his return to Canada Mike moved to LaSalle with his family where he currently resides. In 2014, Mike was elected to LaSalle Town Council and re-elected in 2018. In 2022, Mike became the Deputy Mayor for the Town of LaSalle. He remains active with the Royal Canadian Legion and other Veteran causes throughout Essex County. In 2023, Mike was selected as the new Superintendent of the University of Windsor Campus Police.

Morris Brause, C.D.

Morris Brause

Morris Brause (LCol) joined the Canadian Forces in August 1974 and attended Royal Roads Military College from 1974-1976. He transferred to Royal Military College in Kingston and graduated in 1978. Upon graduation, he was posted to 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) where he started his life-long career as an infantry officer. He held many positions in all three battalions of the PPCLI.

Morris also served in Germany from 1988-1990 as the G3 Operations for 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Lahr, Germany. He commanded a combat team in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1994. He was the Chief of Operations for the UN Mission on the Border of Iraq and Kuwait for 18 months in 2000-2001. He served in Afghanistan from June 2013 – March 2014. In February 2014 at the age of 59, Brause was the oldest Canadian to receive the Afghanistan Star.

Lieutenant Colonel (LCol) Brause's other assignments included commander of the Recruiting Centre in Hamilton from September 2001 – December 2003 and the Senior Military Plans Officer and Afghanistan Desk Officer at Land Forces Central Area HQ from Jan 2004-July 2005. In 2005 he was posted to Windsor where he continued to work as the desk officer for Afghanistan, commanded both the Essex and Kent Scottish and the Windsor Garrison. After his Afghanistan tour, he retired from the Canadian Forces in 2014, having served over 40 years.

He is currently the SW Ontario Facilitator for Respect Forum helping network with agencies that provide support for First Responders and their families that suffer from operational stress injuries. Morris is the current president of Branch 594 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

He is married to wife Patricia and has three children and two grandchildren. He resides in LaSalle, Ontario.

Canadian Peace Support Operations

The Canadian Forces have supported peacekeeping missions since 1954 to support peace and stability around the world.

Cletus Cheng

Cletus Cheng

Story credit: Veterans Canada

Born in Hong Kong in 1963, Cletus Cheng and his family immigrated to Canada when he was 12 years old. The family settled in the Township of Sandwich West. As the eldest of three children and many younger cousins, leadership and empathy came to him naturally at an early age. He treated everyone he met with fairness and respect— character traits that would prove useful throughout his future endeavours.

Having excelled as a member of the Air Cadets as a young boy, Cheng found himself drawn to the idea of serving his new country and decided to join the military—an uncommon career path for a member of a traditional Chinese family. “The Chinese had this mentality, they want their children to be doctors, engineers, architects and lawyers … soldiering is at the bottom of the list.” But his mother was not going to stand in the way of her son and his love for Canada. “If the young man wants to join and serve our country, I said: Well, there is no reason to stop him … They learn discipline, specific techniques, teamwork and all those good things that aren’t really taught in university.”

In 1983, he applied to the Regular Officer’s Training Program (ROTP) and completed his studies at the University of Windsor, Ontario where he spent the next few years earning a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. Upon graduating, Cheng joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, and went on to receive his Air Navigator’s ''wings.'' He also became a military police officer.

“He came back from Rwanda and all he said was ‘the poor children’. He really had a heart of gold…”

He served in peacekeeping missions in Rwanda and Bosnia. These conflicts were horrific. It was evident that what he experienced had changed him. 

When he returned from his mission in Bosnia with the UN Protection Force in 1995, he called his mother to share some news. 

For the third year in a row, Cheng was chosen to participate in the Peacekeeper Challenge—a multinational skill-at-arms competition for military police forces—held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

On 18 September 1995, Cheng was the captain of the Canadian Armed Forces team participating in the combat obstacle course. Feeling a little under the weather and unwilling to let his teammates down, he said, “No matter what happens, pull me through the finish line.”

Towards the end of the race, Cheng began to experience signs of stress. After crossing the finish line with the help of his teammates, he collapsed and was rushed by ambulance to the base hospital. Sadly, he died en route.

Despite the option to withdraw from the competition, the team took inspiration from the leadership and professionalism which Captain Cheng had displayed throughout his career and they endured and triumphed with tears in their heart.

In the summer of 2021, a stretch of the Highway of Heroes was named in his honour.

His selfless display of courage, integrity, loyalty, and most of all, his sacrifice was the final mark he left for his comrades. We shall never forget him.

John Smyth

John Smyth
John was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1936. He was sent to live with an Aunt and Uncle in Toronto in 1947 and joined the Canadian Army Regular Force at the age of 16, in 1952. He spent the next 13 years as a soldier with tours in Germany, the Middle East and the Belgian Congo, as a member of the United Nations Forces. During his military service, he held the rank of Private and was a parachutist and a motorcyclist. He took an honourable release in 1963 to go back to school, graduating in Business Administration and serving as Executive Director of several sport organizations as well as working in the Government of Ontario. He retired in 2001. He married his wife Lila in 1995 and together have a large family in LaSalle.

Non-Combat Veterans

There are many veterans who have served Canada without engaging in active combat. Thank you to all veterans for your service.

Fr. Stan Fraser, C.D.

Fr. Stan Fraser, C.D.

Father Stan Fraser (Cmdr) joined the Naval Reserves as a Cadet in 1960. In 1965, he was promoted to Lieutenant and served in the Primary Reserve list from 1964-1977. In 1978, he joined HMCS Hunter. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1983, appointed as a Chaplain in 1987 and Commander in 1996. 

Father Fraser was a teacher and school principal for 26 years. He is an active parish priest and member of the local Legion branch. Father Fraser also served as Chaplain for the LaSalle Fire Service and LaSalle Police Service.

Father Fraser lives in LaSalle with his wife Joan. He is the Chair of the LaSalle Remembrance Day Committee which is responsible for organizing the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony as well as recognizing and honouring local veterans. Father Fraser has dedicated many years to remembering and honouring veterans in LaSalle and Windsor-Essex County through various initiatives. 

Gary Marshall

Gary Marshall

Gary Marshall embarked on his journey into the Canadian Navy in 1962 as an Ordinary Seamen, where he worked as a radar plotter stationed in Halifax on the Restigouche-Class Destroyer HMCS Gatineau. His expedition on the HMCS Gatineau eded 1965 when he decided to retire. After leaving the Navy, Gary met his wife and married in 1973. Gary and his wife raised 2 children in the area. Gary worked at several different tool shops for over 30 years, and retired in 2003. Gary has a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion for the past 47 years. Today, he is enjoying his golden years at Seasons Royal Oak Village in LaSalle.

HMCS Gatineau II

Throughout the Cold War, HMCS Gatineau participated in national and international exercises and operations principally as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) unit. - Source: Government of Canada

Armand Rock

Armand Rock

Armand Rock served in the Windsor Regiment and enlisted at age 17. Armand still lives in LaSalle today and has family in the surrounding area. In 2022, Armand received a visit from Mayor Marc Bondy and Council to thank him and recognize his military service to Canada.

Robert Shepley

Robert Shepley

Robert was born in Gesto, ON (now a part of Essex, ON), in 1943. In 1961 he went from Grade 10 to enlisting in the Canadian Army in London, ON. Robert was sent to Edmonton for basic training, achieving the rank of Private. After that he was sent to Victoria, British Columbia. While in Victoria, he trained in munitions courses and became a 'marksman.'  He then transferred to a training camp nearby, and became an instructor in marksmanship for new recruits. After this, Robert worked on training recruits on heavy artillery. During this time Robert became a middle-weight boxer for the Army, and became the boxing champion of his unit, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Robert retired from the Army in 1963. He married Kathy in 1968, and had 3 children with her. Robert became a Tool & Die Maker at CentreLine, as well as their health and safety manager. He resides in LaSalle and is surrounded by his many grandchildren in the area.