Pat Coombes was telling a visitor to the Royal Canadian Legion Aldergrove branch how long he served in the RCMP.
“Twenty-nine years, 119 days, but who’s counting,” Coombes laughed.
He went on to explain that his name is spelled with an “e” because “there’s no ‘bs’ in my name.”
Coombes had dropped by for Buddy Check Coffee, a new program for veterans offered by the Aldergrove branch at 26607 Fraser Highway on the last Saturday morning of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m
It is a place for veterans to relax, have coffee, and make fun of each other, as Shaun Francis, who served with the PPCLI (also referred to as Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) during the 80s, explained.
“We always like to take the piss out of each other,” is how Francis put it.
Buddy Check is a veteran-run program offering a relaxed environment, allowing for networking and sharing of experiences and stories over coffee, and, on this particular Saturday, home-baked cookies provided by another Legion member.
“It’s getting to know people, getting to know you’re not alone,” Francis explained. “You’re talking to people who have been in a lot of the same situations you have been in.”
Retired RCMP officer Doug Hadley, service officer with the Aldergrove branch, explained the program was launched by the Royal Canadian Legion Operational Stress Injury Special Section to help veterans gather to enjoy peer support.
Hadley said the program is open to any veteran.
“You do not have to be a member of the Legion.”
Any interested veterans can drop by the Legion between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the last Saturday of the month, or call 604-856-8814 for more information.
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