It took several years to reach his home, but Cpl. Virginio Casanova finally received a Canadian flag in recognition of his military career that included a stint in the Gulf War and finished in Comox.
During his 24-year career, he was stationed in Germany; Cold Lake, Alta.; Edmonton; Trenton, Ont.; and with the 407 Squadron in Comox.
“Kind of bouncing around everywhere,” said the Montreal-born Casanova, who joined the military at age 18.
A senior officer submitted a request to a National Defence program on behalf of Casanova, who waited about seven years for the flag.
“It’s just a matter of waiting,” he said. “They fly it just once.”
The flag he received was flown March 12 at the East Block of Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
The Depart With Dignity program is designed to ensure that proper recognition is bestowed upon all Canadian Forces members leaving the service under honourable circumstances on release.
A letter from Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, states: During the past 48 years our flag has come to be regarded with respect and admiration both at home and abroad. For many people around the world, the red maple leaf has come to stand for hope and compassion.
The flag is also a symbol of what people of diverse faiths, cultures and linguistic backgrounds can accomplish, and a reminder of the responsibilities that come with citizenship in our great country.