Capt Lonnie Kean, CD
After 34 years and 9 months of loyal and dedicated service to the Canadian Forces, Captain Lonnie Kean has decided to retire as of 21 July 2007.
Less than a month after his 17th birthday, Pte Kean entered the Canadian Forces on 13 October 1972 at CFRC St. John’s, NL. Off to CFRS Cornwallis, he started his initiation into the “No Life Like It “ world on 21 October. After recruit school he was on his way to Combat Arms School at CFB Gagetown for basic training as an infantryman.
One of the “lucky” ones he was posted to Hollywood Battalion, 3PPCLI in Victoria BC where the next seven years proved to be one highlight after another. There, he got the opportunity to work with international military forces such as the US Marines, Navy and Army. He also instructed Mountain Warfare to the Australian Army in Kananaskis, BC. The most memorable highlight of his Infantry time was in 1975 with the 3rd Battalion when he deployed on his first UN tour to Cyprus.
Seeing that he was having way too much fun, his wife demanded he spend more time at home. So given the options of getting out or remustering, he selected a remuster to the RM trade in September 1979. Over the next 3 years, due to OJT and career courses he managed to be at home for a total of 16 months... So much for staying home more with the wife.
After topping his RM Crse in Chilliwack he was enroute to Goose Bay and nine different Bases and Wings across Canada, some of which he locked the gate as he was leaving. His many highlights as an Engineer include international courses and deployments with the US National Guard on both sides of the border; a tasking to Dade County, Miami (for which he received a Commander’s Commendation) to help rebuild schools after Hurricane Andrew. As Team Leader, scrambling his crew off the runway in Gander, NL a split second before a CF-18 (without approval) attempted to engage the arrester cable proved to be an interesting moment. (They say he could have outrun Ben Johnson on steroids, that day).
As an Engineer he completed another tour of Cyprus in 1987, a tour to Bosnia in 1999 and one to Syria (for which he received another Commander’s Commendation) in 2002. All his tours were amazingly fulfilling to him as a soldier and an Engineer. In 2006 as a CWO he was offered a position at CFB Halifax with a promotion to Captain.
Lonnie has decided to finally stop having so much fun and retire in Summerside PEI. His wife Joyce, already living there, and their daughter Dawn and two granddaughters are looking forward to the day. He has decided to take this summer off and travel. He will decide then, to go back to work or not.
Lonnie wishes to thank everyone throughout his career who has worked hard and played hard beside him. It is all of you that have made his career such a rewarding and memorable one.