The Royal Canadian Legion and ‘Operation Home Fires’

Although I am anything but a pacifist, I take war very seriously, and I am fussy about what wars I get into. 

While I do not support the “mission” in Afghanistan, or the “war” in Iraq, I am always mindful of those who find themselves in harm’s way while in uniform serving Canada or any other English-speaking country. 

The Royal Canadian Legion’s “Operation Home Fires” therefore has my wholehearted support, and this post is for anyone who would like to donate useful items to help make the lives of our troops a little bit easier while they are on active service far away from home.

Note: This ‘operation’ may not extend much beyond South-Central Ontario.  If your Branch is not involved, you may care to bring this up with your local Executive.  Also, any items other than those requested may not be accepted.  The “Our History” section of the Operation Home Fires  website indicates other areas needing attention, such as assistance for wounded troops hospitalised in Germany.

Your local Legion may pick up items you wish to donate, or may want them to be dropped off; you should phone and ask.

Here is a list of needed items (from Oshawa This Week):

“Items requested are: three-quarter notepads, (3” x 4” –JG), travel-size tissue, hand sanitizers, sun block, moisturizers, lip balm, pens, pencils, hard candy (preferably Werther’s), single-serve soup, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and Crystal Light, small Canadian souvenirs, locker-size unbreakable mirrors, small puzzle books and decks of cards, small sewing kits, small manicure kits, signed postcards, unsealed letters, artwork and signed Christmas cards.”

Also, the deadline for my own Legion Branch is September 1st.  This may vary from location to location.

In any event, here is an opportunity to make a useful contribution.  Every little bit will help, and most of the needed items can be purchased at your local dollar store.

Visit Operation Home Fires here.

Reproduced below are the lyrics to the Great War song “Keep The Home Fires Burning”, music by Ivor Novello and words by Lena Ford.  The song is also known as “Till The Boys Come Home”.

Keep the Home Fires Burning

They were summoned from the hillside
They were called in from the glen,
And the country found them ready
At the stirring call for men.
Let no tears add to their hardships
As the soldiers pass along,
And although your heart is breaking
Make it sing this cheery song:

Keep the Home Fires Burning,
While your hearts are yearning,
Though your lads are far away
They dream of home.
There’s a silver lining
Through the dark clouds shining,
Turn the dark cloud inside out
‘Til the boys come home.

Overseas there came a pleading,
“Help a nation in distress.”
And we gave our glorious laddies
Honour bade us do no less,
For no gallant son of freedom
To a tyrant’s yoke should bend,
And a noble heart must answer
To the sacred call of “Friend.”

Keep the Home Fires Burning,
While your hearts are yearning,
Though your lads are far away
They dream of home.
There’s a silver lining
Through the dark clouds shining,
Turn the dark cloud inside out.

For audio, visit here.

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