Former peacekeeper surprised to receive Quilt of Valour

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) Brenda Cripps, Michel Langlois and Colin Reise. Prince Albert Legion member Michel Langlois was presented with a Quilt of Valour at the Legion last Friday evening.

The Prince Albert Legion recognized former peacekeeper and longtime Legion member Michel Langlois with a special quilt during the Legion’s annual Pin and Awards Ceremony last Friday night.

Langlois was very surprised to receive the recognition.

“I didn’t feel like I deserved it because I was just on a peacekeeping mission in Germany for two years,” he said. “I did my role with the army and I was very happy to have served the country.

“A sincere thanks from the heart for the Legion.”

The 77-year-old referred to himself as the young one when compared to fellow Quilt of Valour recipient, 99-year-old Ed Laird.

Brenda Cripps, Provincial Zone Commander and Service Officer for the Prince Albert Branch No. 2 and Deputy District Commander Colin Reise presented the Quilts of Valour to both veterans.

“It’s a hug from a very grateful nation, being us, and a tribute to an injured Canadian Armed Forces member past or present or anybody that served in the Canadian Armed Forces,” Cripps said.

They reported to the Sergeant at Arms before being presented the quilts.

“Though we may not know the depth of your sacrifice to protect and defend our freedom we thank you and as a gesture of our gratitude from a grateful nation we present you with this Quilt of Valour that you can wrap around your shoulders,” Cripps said.

The quilts are made by Quilts of Valour-Canada Society. Their mission as a Society is to ensure that all Canadian military members, past and present who are ill or injured as a result of their service and sacrifice to our country, are recognized and honoured with a Quilt of Valour.

Langlois served as a peacekeeper in Germany from 1965 to 1967. His time there had little in common with an over-the-top Hollywood blockbuster, but Langlois said it was both rewarding and memorable.

“It was a very, not dramatic, but a very challenging experience to be able to stay there for that long and to risk my life for any kind of an uprising,” he said.

Langlois has been a member of the Prince Albert Legion for over 30 years and before that was a member of the Spiritwood Legion for seven years.
“I have been a Legion member ever since I come out of the services pretty well,” he explained.

Langlois added that it was important to have the Legion around to remind people of what we have gone through.

The evening was emceed by Legion President Rick Hodgson. The Pin & Award Ceremony is a recognition night for members to receive their yearly pins (from 1 Year in increments of 5 years), and also to present local businesses and friends of the Legion with awards for sponsorships, donations, volunteering and other things.