Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 18, 2012 15:38 ET

Hometowner: Castlegar Native Experiences the March of a Lifetime

NIJMEGEN, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - July 18, 2012) - Captain Cameron Arsenault, raised in Castlegar, is currently participating in something very few Canadians have the opportunity to experience - a four day march through the Dutch country side, marching along the same paths where many Canadians fought and died during WWII.

Known as the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen, the Canadian Forces have been participating in this annual event since 1952, marking this year as the 60th anniversary. From July 17-20, 2012, a Canadian military contingent of 187 Canadian Forces members from across the country will march a total of 160 km while wearing standard combat clothing and carrying a military backpack weighing at least 10 kg.

"I feel honoured to be able to represent Canada during these marches, where Canadians are so respected due to the history we share," said Captain Arsenault. "Our participation in the marches is a way to keep the memory of their sacrifice alive and I want to show my respect for the Canadians that fought and died during WWII."

Over 7 600 Canadians died in the nine-month campaign between 1944-1945 to liberate the Netherlands and carry the war to its conclusion-a sacrifice the Dutch have never forgotten. Today, Canadians and the Dutch remember these historic events during the Nijmegen Marches, including a remembrance ceremony at Groesbeek Cemetery, and celebrate the lasting bonds that were created between the two nations.

Captain Arsenault, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force stationed in Ottawa, endured months of training in preparation for the event. As a pre-requisite to be selected for the Canadian contingent deploying to Nijmegen, candidates must complete an average of 700-1000 km.

"The training that my team and I have endured over the past few months has been extremely challenging," said Capt Arsenault. "Yes, it's painful and we get sore feet, but there are highlights, and it's all about teamwork, camaraderie, and even singing marching songs. I feel lucky to have been able to spend the amount of time that I have with the amazing individuals on my team."

Captain Arsenault is scheduled to complete the Nijmegen Marches on July 20, 2012 and if successful will receive the Four Day Marches Cross.

Still imagery will be available on the Canadian Forces Image Gallery at: www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca.

For more information about the CF's participation in the Nijmegen Marches, please consult the following link: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4308.

For the most recent news stories, videos and photos of CF training and participation in the Nijmegen Marches, media can visit the official Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/JointTaskForceNijmegen.

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