Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

April 17, 2012 12:15 ET

Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins Honours Ponoka Resident

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 17, 2012) - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Blaine Calkins, Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin, presented Ponoka resident Walter Burchnall with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation.

"Mr. Burchnall has devoted countless hours to helping and honouring Veterans. He has made a real and lasting difference in the lives of his comrades in Ponoka," said Minister Blaney. "Our Government is proud to recognize Mr. Burchnall's dedication to his fellow Veterans and their families. His extraordinary efforts in commemorating Veterans and assisting them and their families make Mr. Burchnall a deserving recipient of the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation."

"The community of Ponoka and, in fact, many Albertans have benefitted from the service and contribution of Walter Burchnall," said Mr. Calkins. "As a pilot in Burma who bravely served during the Second World War and as an active and dedicated volunteer in his community following the war, Mr. Burchnall has demonstrated his commitment to both his country and his community. He is truly deserving of this honour."

Mr. Burchnall is a Second World War Veteran who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He has held almost every executive position in his Royal Canadian Legion branch, including president. As a branch service officer, Mr. Burchnall assisted Veterans and their dependants in applying for benefits and services, helped families of Veterans with funeral arrangements, performed countless Legion tributes at funeral services and acted as an agent in obtaining headstones, at considerable savings, for Veterans' graves in the Field of Honour. Mr. Burchnall also served on a committee to construct a new community cenotaph, undertaking much of the manual work. Mr. Burchnall continues to assist with twilight candlelight tributes at the local cemetery and takes part in Decoration Day ceremonies by placing flags on Veterans' graves at dawn. He has been honoured with a Royal Canadian Legion Life Membership and the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation includes a bar, which can be worn below official decorations on a Veteran's blazer, as well as a lapel pin for civilian wear and a certificate.

The Commendation is presented to individuals who have contributed to the care and well-being of Veterans and to the remembrance of their contributions, sacrifices and achievements. It is intended primarily for Veterans, but in some circumstances may also be awarded to non-Veterans. Nominations may be submitted at any time and are reviewed annually by an advisory committee.

Find more information on the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, including the accomplishments and biography of the recipient, at

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs