On a very rainy afternoon, at home on Captains Court off Seventh Line, people from all across the country gathered to celebrate the Departure with Dignity Ceremony of Captain Russell Arsenault, MSM, CD.
Russ (Rusty to many) recently retired from Canadian Armed Forces after 36 years of service. He has lived in Meaford for the last six years, most recently serving as 4 Division Chief Standards Officer. Arsenault has had a distinguished military career, which includes being presented the Meritorious Service Medal by Governor General Michelle Jean.
Sheltered under multiple tents, family, friends, fellow officers, and retired officers from Grand Prairie, AB, across to PEI watched and listened as congratulatory letters from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford, and Mayor Ross Kentner were read. Captain Jason Gresel acted as emcee, introducing the fellow officers, both active and retired, who had come to offer their praise and handshakes. These included Warrant Officer Allan Vardy, Warrant Officer Eric Oliver, Major Jeff Bell, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Johnson, and Lieutenant Colonel Shawn Dumbreck, who shared a story of serving in Afghanistan with Arsenault. After rescuing Dumbreck from a life-threatening situation, Arsenault quipped, “I can do your job if I have to, but I’d rather do mine. So, take care of yourself!”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Aresenault had his own presentation to make to his family. He spoke very lovingly of the support they have given him and how much they mean to him. He then awarded a framed plaque with the Home Front Medallion to his wife Sandra, sons Nick and Elvis, and daughter Rose.
A beautiful buffet was set out for all the guests under the big military tent, which included several hot dishes as well as Sandra’s home-made empanadas.
Congratulations Captain (Retired) Arsenault and thank you for all your service to Canada.