Local Veteran appreciates time spent teaching children

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Written by City Media

Coronation VeteranDave Pennington is a veteran living in Coronation, Alberta. The 92-year-old had a wealth of experience in combat during the Second World War, serving in Sicily, Italy as a Corporal with the First Edmonton Regiment. At that time just 20 years-old, the farmer’s son living in rural Alberta had his life dramatically changed by the many faces of war, including being wounded by shrapnel in Italy.
Now Pennington is one of the few with the memories and experience to teach children about the trials and hardships faced during that era of humanity. In 2012 Pennington participated in Veterans Day discourse at the Veteran School.
“I spoke to the kids last year; I was invited to come for Armistice Day,” says Pennington, “There were no soldiers [in the area], and the principal asked [local citizen] Terry Schetzsle if there was a soldier around, and he said ‘yeah I knew one, Dave Pennington’.”
Pennington was phoned to speak to the students, which he obliged happily.
“I told them some stories,” says Pennington, “and one of the kids asked me where my medals were.” This simple question led to the revelation that Pennington’s were discarded after being chewed by mice at his parent’s house. This sent the Veteran students alight with excitement over getting him replacement medals. Ultimately new medals were returned to Pennington straight from Ottawa, just before Easter of 2013, to a crowd of 150 onlookers, students, family and friends.
“Two RCMP were there, and I thought ‘gee, the kids must be in trouble!’” says Pennington about the two officers who presented him with the medals.
“They’re special kids,” says Pennington about the experience, “they really enjoy seeing all that army stuff.”
Pennington notes that his Remembrance Days’ aren’t always celebrated with such fanfare.
“I usually just watch [Remembrance Day services] on the television in Ottawa,” Pennington said, noting that this year he will experience the event in Veteran on November 7.

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