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Who brought their rifles to the Hub Trail today? (7 photos)

Saturday, May 24, 2014   by: Kenneth Armstrong

Members of the 49th Field Artillery Regiment completed a 13 kilometre march along a portion of the John Rowswell Hub Trail Saturday morning.

The army reservists began the march at Third Line and headed west through the Fort Creek area, along Carmen’s Way and through downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

Male and female soldiers carried 50 to 54 pounds of field gear, including rucksacks, helmets, weapons and tactical vests, said unit public affairs representative Second Lieutenant Leila Mehkeri.

“We carried equipment we would use in the field,” said Mehkeri.

Master Warrant Officer Stephen Leask had utilized the hub trail for bike rides in the past, but this was his first time marching in full field gear.

“It’s a beautiful day, a nice walk but it’s challenging (because) you’re carrying a fair bit of weight on your body,” said Leask.

The march detoured along Queen Street and ended at Bellevue Park, where family and friends were invited to join the reservists at a barbecue, Leask was greeted by his wife and young son.

“The support that the families give is what allows these guys to do their jobs, and for the families it’s a good opportunity for them to be part of the regimental family,” said Leask.

This was the second such march that Gunner Elijah Malleau has completed, his first being in basic training.

He says the trick is to keep the kit as tight to your body as possible to avoid shifting. “At first it doesn’t feel bad, but you start to notice even the smallest movement in your kit, said Malleau.

The march was to be completed within two hours and twenty-six minutes, which is a requirement of the Canadian Army’s Battle Fitness Test standard.

“We achieved the time we were looking to achieve and everyone made it here,” said Leask.

“We are an artillery unit, which means our role is to provide indirect fire support to ground battles. In the artillery we are required to fight as infantry if required, so we do marches to ensure we are physically fit and maintain that level of fitness,” said Mehkeri.

Malleau said while marching he could feel the hot spots where blisters start to form.

“After a while the best way to get through it is to take in the scenery and continue to move forward,” added Malleau.

(PHOTO: Gunner Elijah Malleau marches with the 49th Field Artillery Regiment May 24, 2014. Armstrong.)

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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Dead End Kid 5/24/2014 9:20:43 PM Report

It would have been a rush to ride my bike by them on the Hub trail.
mikej 5/24/2014 9:31:10 PM Report

lol, couldn't do the whole trail eh?
molder2 5/24/2014 10:03:35 PM Report

The drinking 49th...lmao..
Number One Son 5/24/2014 11:38:10 PM Report

A letter carrier at Canada Post can carry 35 pounds of mail, ... and doesn't have a gun to shoot vicious dogs or customers. Also, their supervisors would give any drill sergeant a run for their money.
wandering 5/25/2014 12:32:59 AM Report

give them a break
Pakadeva 5/25/2014 12:54:34 AM Report

Nothing quite as heartwarming, as coming on here & seeing all the negative comments (NOT)
They are training to save yours & my hides one day!! How about giving them a thank you?
From myself...thank you for serving on behalf of myself, my family & friends & my country!
Koss 5/25/2014 2:48:01 AM Report

There's a few Afgan vets in those photos. They've done more for Canada than the posters here ever while in a lifetime.
freedom1 5/25/2014 6:10:59 AM Report

Saving our hides? from what? oh the boogey man terrorists. Don't you remember 911 was an inside job the wars were based on lies, nobody coming here to start war. War should be abolished. Nobody going to come attack us. War is a racket. These are just poor people willing to get killed for rich white politicians who don't care about them or you.
zardoz 5/25/2014 7:49:10 AM Report

Nice one "Number One Sone"...A.K.A,

donnieboy 5/25/2014 9:25:29 AM Report

I thank any member of the military for their service. It grieves me to think that anyone could find a negative spin on this story. I hope that any of you good people of our armed forces realize these few haters are in the vast minority and on behalf of the rest of us, I sincerely apologize for these stupid and thoughtless ramblings. Thank you 49th.
A & B 5/25/2014 10:11:03 AM Report

Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom is what allows each of us to express our speech freely; however even that has limitations and for good reason. Allow me to express my Freedom of Speech:
Some of you clearly have no life experience to support your opinions.
Soldiers are necessary and need to train for those occassions when they are needed. Good to see Sault Ste. Marie's 49 th Field Regiment active and visible in our community.
wingnut 5/25/2014 10:52:28 AM Report

Nice try even attempting to compare the level of fitness of a postal carrier to that of a soldier. Get real. A soldiers pack does not get lighter the further they walk.
freedom1 5/25/2014 1:28:06 PM Report

If all the money we spend on the military industrial complex was spent on health care, housing and feeding our brothers and sisters what a nice place this would be.

over 2000 years ago a wise man gave us 10 things that we should not do. One of which was "thou shalt not kill". Not only are we disobeying, we are training people to be really good at it. Yet these christian hypocrites support killing.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one.-
--John Lennon
steelworker 5/25/2014 3:48:15 PM Report

Some people like to live in squalor waiting for the government to take care of them all the while critisizing those who do the heavy lifting day after day.
fronz 5/25/2014 4:39:51 PM Report

Hello .
I do believe some preparedness is always needed .
But I'm not stupid or have been living in a cave .
All avenues of civility must be exhausted before bullets .
In land disputes we use courts , not armies .
And attacks must be investigated for
" false flags ".
Just remember, trust of these , your children , can't be taken lightly .
A soldier dying a long away from home , alone , and forgotten isn't what anyone on this planet would feel to be an accumulation of failed desirable results .
Defense , is only necessary when an uncivil opponent attacks , not when we want to steal from foreign lands to line the pockets of the corrupt .
jonesur 5/25/2014 5:32:22 PM Report


You're Vitamine D deprived. Crawl out of your basement and get some sunlight on your noggin.
jonesur 5/25/2014 5:34:03 PM Report

jonesur 5/25/2014 5:49:05 PM Report

Re A & B:
Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom is what allows each of us to express our speech freely; however even that has limitations and for good reason.

Crying "Fire" in a crowded theatre is a good example. However, it provides the "Slippery Slope" for malcontents to shut everyone up!
Don't believe me? Look to the litany of lawsuits before the courts right now, attempting to silence expression.
B Boy 5/25/2014 8:48:24 PM Report

Before moving here I served for several years in recce plt, nov coy, 3 RCR. I served rotations in UNPROFOR & UNTAC. While on rotation I have been fired upon and returned fire. I have also served in several domestic support missions such as helping flood victims.

I've been called everything from a baby killer to a hero. I've had people shake my hand, spit on me and throw things at me.

War & combat is a regrettable outcome but I like to think that my presence has saved lives through support missions and peacekeeping missions.

When I read comments like the ones above, it's easy to be insulted, however I read them & smile knowing that you are able to make these comments from the safety of your keyboards because I have trained & vowed to protect you possibly giving up my life and my brothers-in-arms of decades ago did indeed give up their lives to protect people and stop tyranny and injustice before it reached our shores.

Some of you may judge me, even hate me. However in one morning I have faced situations that are more terrifying than many of you have faced or will face in your entire lives.

I was a soldier, and I will always be a soldier. I carried myself with honour and integrity serving Canada.

Although I am no longer an active member of the CF, when the call comes, I will honourably and proudly stand to, to serve our country whether in combat or domestic support missions.

May you all live long, healthy & prosperous lives and I hope you will never have to face what I have while serving.
freedom1 5/26/2014 6:33:08 AM Report

"They gave their lives for their country" is a lie. Their lives were stolen from them by their government. Government and country are different. Their country never sent them to war their government did. The government is fighting for resources and big companies. They don't care about the soldiers. The soldiers tell themselves they are the good guys and the other are the bad guys. Once you do that you don't have to think anymore. War only serves the profiteers of war. Read WAR IS A RACKET by General Smedley Butler USA's most decorated marine. Your naive if you think there is a boogey man living on the other side of the world that we must go kill. 911 was an inside job false flag attack along with alot of other wars. When the rich wage war its the poor who die.
B Boy 5/26/2014 8:20:32 AM Report

I've read that book, and although it's old issue much of it rings true.

No one who is on the receiving end of hostilities while in theatre ever returns the same person. Everything is different. The only government you can trust are the ones who aren't government.

You did however miss the point I was making. As nice of a sentiment it is that people feel we shouldn't need an army, or just stop fighting wars, I can't see it happening. I didn't enlist to fight or shoot people. I enlisted for many reasons that 99% of Canadians won't fully understand unless they have served. It's not an insult, being a soldier is an esoteric thing. Among the reasons I enlisted was to play my role in protecting Canada and Canadians. In the exceptionally unlikely event of an attack on our lands, domestic crises, etc.

Funny that your handle has the word 'freedom' in it yet I'm getting the sense that you're looking down upon and judging soldiers, the ones that helped facilitate the freedom that so many people are riding the coattails of.
IgnorantNortherner 5/26/2014 8:56:49 AM Report

I'm happy to hear you're not easily offended, B Boy.

Today is actually the perfect day to give that speech (9min) a listen to again....War is a Racket, at the time given by the most decorated Marine ever, I believe.

I don't doubt that when you fly across the world and invade a country that never attacked you (or even threatened to) and bear arms against them that you actually believe you are 'peacekeeping' and spreading 'democracy' and 'keeping Canadians safe', which is why I find it extremely hard to judge a military man/woman. Like many Canadians you seem to have good intentions yet seem unable to grasp that war these days (if it hasn't always been the case) is all about money and the evidence is everywhere.

I don't think war will end any time soon either, but imo it is because it's simply too profitable (and men are too greedy) and because, for the most part, soldiers seem incapable of thinking for themselves and realizing the charade but Smedley Butler figured it out and others continue to every day and this makes me very happy and full of hope for humanity.
B Boy 5/26/2014 9:18:00 AM Report

@ignorant northerner
Please research UNPROFOR and UNTAC before you respond.

We protected human rights and protected against things like ethnic cleansing. There was no invasion in either mission.

My regiment did conduct armed patrols for our own protection while we provided security for the forensic anthropologists who were investigation atrocities. I even had to help dig out mass graves.

I can grasp the ridiculous of war and how it is greed, religion or ethnically based. I am 100% sure that you were not the one pondering this while the bullets were slamming into your M113.

As I said, please research UNTAC & UNPROFOR.
D.Hasselhoff 5/26/2014 9:22:07 AM Report

You want good training? Wait for the next 'idle no more' stint.
B Boy 5/26/2014 9:27:30 AM Report

My buddies with the van doos absolutely hated what they had to do on their day with the FN.

We were allies one day and we should remain allies. The politics and attitudes behind the FN/non-FN is unfortunate.
IgnorantNortherner 5/26/2014 10:11:47 AM Report

@B Boy, I mean, presumably bullets were slamming into your M113 because someone didn't want you there. Guess what? That's exactly the welcome I'd give someone who showed up in Canada with a bunch of their military buddies claiming they were here to spread 'peace' and 'democracy' and 'freedom', etc.

If Russia or the US or whoever, sent troops into Canada to 'protect human rights' or protect 'against ethnic cleansing' then it wouldn't be an invasion?

Above I was referring to Afghanistan (Op Enduring Freedom?), but I might as well have been referring to the NATO bombing of Libya (for which we provided ships and planes) or any other NATO 'peacekeeping' mission.

Far more harm is done than good with the belief that you can arm yourself up and head on over to whichever country is currently experiencing 'problems' and act as policemen of the world. I believe in the non aggression principle, so it kind of takes actions like those off the table imo.

@hasselhoff, you're advocating violence against non violent protesters (who aren't protesting anymore), did I read that right?
B Boy 5/26/2014 10:29:45 AM Report

NATO is different from UN.

Yes, we were being fired upon because they didn't want us there- they wanted to freely destroy and annihilate and quickly finish their ethnic cleansing - the mass murder of the men, women, children and elderly. But by your logic we should simply stand around and abserve while this murder takes place. Following other commenters here, you were one of the outraged people that action wasn't taken with residential schools. So which is it - talk action, or observe & let it happen?

I truly hope that you will never need those people that you are looking down upon from your high horse.
IgnorantNortherner 5/26/2014 10:31:39 AM Report

"Just following orders"
justsomeguy 5/26/2014 10:35:41 AM Report

Sounds like you're completely mixing up nato & the united nations.

By dictionary definition, it's an invasion. By intent is it not.

For a UN mission to begin, the UN votes on it - that means that nearly hundreds of countries all agree that something must be done.

So based on your human rights example of Canada being invaed, let's go back a hundred or so years. The first nations community talk about their human rights having been murdered, cleansed ethnetically, raped, etc. But you see something wrong with countries cooperating and stepping in to help out the minority group who is being 'slaughtered'?

I'd say you sould like you want to have your cake & eat it too.
justsomeguy 5/26/2014 10:38:34 AM Report

I like how you're attacking the people who would serve to be the last line of your defence.

I see how you earned your ignorant monicker.

IgnorantNortherner 5/26/2014 11:34:34 AM Report

@justsomeguy, so you believe everyone that is part of the UN votes on what actions the UN will take for any given situation?

Even if this were the case (far from) you believe it would represent the will of all populations that are part of the UN??

I believe we should have a military FOR DEFENCE and in the meantime they can help OUR civilian population, but I don't particularly believe it to be a good model to parade your moral authority around the world when it's pretty clear out gov't is as corrupt as any other and it should be said it would be this corrupt gov't making the decision as to when military intervention will be used and not the soldiers themselves.

I love the soldiers (my high horse turns out to be a miniature pony)....I just think, as I do of most people, the majority are 'characterized by a slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness'.
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