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2012-03-21 at 6:00 PM

Soldier embraces all things Canadian after nine month Afghanistan tour

By Jodi Lundmark,
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After a nine-month tour in Afghanistan, Cale McDowell is happy to embrace everything Canadian.

“Being able to go walk outside, being able to drive a car by yourself, being able to not carry a gun on you, to relax – that was the big thing I missed was the freedom here,” McDowell said Wednesday after arriving at the Thunder Bay International Airport to a large group of family, friends and other supporters, including Mayor Keith Hobbs and members of the Thunder Bay Police Service.

Finally coming home felt like a dream for McDowell, who served in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based out of Edmonton.

“When you first get off the plane, you start to get the shakes and then walk up and it doesn’t even feel real after so long you can come back and see your family,” he said.

McDowell’s parents, Darlene and Larry, both teared up as they waited for their son to come out of the arrival gate.

After nine months of waiting for her son to come home, Darlene said they are thrilled to know he’s home safe and sound.

No matter what job a soldier has in Afghanistan, they are in harm’s way and she was happy to hug her son, joking that he wouldn’t be allowed out of the house for the next two months.

“We’ve got 900 of our Canadians there in harm’s way every day,” she said.

“There are 900 other families across this country right now hoping to go through what we just had.”

“We’ll pray for them and hopefully they get as good an outcome as we’ve been blessed with,” she added.

The family’s plan for the rest of the evening was to go home and enjoy some of Darlene’s homemade McDowell’s famous sauce.

“All his friends are coming over and we’re going to relax and sit around the table and just hug him and enjoy him and enjoy family,” she said.

McDowell is set to retire from the military and plans to become a police officer.


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jimmyboy says:
Canada has no business in this war in my opinion...seriously the USA can have it all too themselves.
3/21/2012 6:48:48 PM
TBDR says:
Canada isn't in a combat role jimmyboy. They ended their combat role months ago
3/21/2012 10:36:13 PM
CGA says:
What a disgusting and despicable thing to say. This city welcomes back a young Canadian hero, who has probably contributed more to his country than you could ever possibly fathom. Absolutely sickening that I share this country with someone like you, who doesn't even have the common courtesy to leave your political agenda aside and welcome this young man home in one piece. Go back to the corner and be quiet.
3/21/2012 11:09:39 PM
common_sense says:
Thank you Cale for your service!!
3/21/2012 7:29:42 PM
TBDR says:
welcome home soldier!
3/21/2012 7:44:57 PM
jayardia says:
Wonderful!! So nice to see this! So happy for you and your family!

Welcome home, Mr. McDowell!!!

...And THANK YOU!!!!
3/21/2012 7:54:30 PM
Smitty says:
Thank you!! Welcome home!!
3/21/2012 8:58:55 PM
hadenough says:
Thank You Cale.
Welcome home!
3/21/2012 9:26:33 PM
wayne says:
welcome home Cale! and thank you for your service young man!
3/21/2012 10:18:57 PM
wayne says:
jimmyboy, a Canadian soldier returned home, pay some respect and thanks rather than being negative.

don't you live in the USA a number of months every year?
3/21/2012 10:45:56 PM
Sandy C. says:
Welcome home Cale, so proud of you!
3/21/2012 10:46:42 PM
feduptaxpayer#1 says:
And who paid for his flight home!?
3/21/2012 11:23:32 PM
Lally says:
Seriously? You expect soldiers to work for their country in really crappy conditions and then pay their own ticket home? Gee, maybe paramedics should have to pay for medical supplies for the ambulances, or cops should have to pay for all the gas in their cars.

If your boss sends you out of town on business, it's generally understood that your boss will be paying travel expenses. Canada sent this soldier to Afghanistan and as a taxpayer myself, I'm proud and happy to help pay for his flight back home.

If you were trying to be ironic or funny with your comment, you failed. If you're serious, then that's just sad. Your annual Timmies habit would probably pay for this soldier's flight home.
3/22/2012 7:36:39 AM
dane mcdowell says:
and by the way bud he payed for his own ticket
3/25/2012 6:36:47 PM
wayne says:
p.s. jimmyboy, Mayor Hobbs was there to welcome this local boy home. would you have done the same?
3/22/2012 1:59:07 AM
Renegade120860 says:
Welcome home Mr. McDowell!!!

Your service, to your country, is appreciated!!!
3/22/2012 7:07:32 AM
concerned_citizen says:
Welcome home Cale! So glad that you are back in Thunder Bay and that you are home safe and sound.
3/22/2012 8:58:17 AM
getgoing says:
Welcome home! I do not home you, but thank you for being so brave and sacrificing your life and your time to protect all of us, even those that have no gratitude. I am glad you were not my child going over there. My child was tucked in safe in his bed in a free country. So again brave soldier....thank you.....:)
3/22/2012 10:30:29 AM
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