Adopt-a-Vet Founder Receives Veterans Affairs Commendation

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Quite the honour for a local Canadian Armed Forces captain.

Brad Krewench has been awarded the Veterans Affairs Canada Commendation, an honour that's only been handed out 1091 times since its introduction in 2001.

Krewench was given the award for the creation of Adopt-a-Vet — a foundation aimed at making the holiday season special for veterans living in long-term care facilities.

He says they've helped dozens of veterans since they began the program in 2014.

"There's a bunch of veterans in the nursing homes that have outlived all their friends and family and they're now left alone. So me and a bunch of the current serving guys, we raise money throughout the year and we go and spend Christmas Eve with them throughout the day just making sure they feel wanted and appreciated still for everything that they gave for us."

Krewench says it's important not to forget the sacrifices made by our local veterans.

"They really appreciate being remembered. Sometimes they do have family members that are around, but when we show up there they kind of open up to us and they tell stories that a lot of their family members have never even heard of before. It's like they feel comfortable talking to us because we've all signed that same dotted line that they did way back when."

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Adopt-a-Vet program visiting seniors in 2018 (Photo courtesy of adoptavet.ca)

He says they're also working with the Children's Safety Village to make sure the veterans' stories live on.

"We're going to be building a scaled armouries there. It's going to be a living monument to the guys so even when they do pass on their stories are going to get told via video screen of them telling their stories. So even after they pass on, the local heroes here will still be able to make an impact on the newer generations coming through."

Krewench, who has been in the armed forces for 17-years himself, received the award Wednesday night at the Royal Canadian Legion on Howard Ave.

For more information about Adopt-a-Vet head to adoptavet.ca.