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St. Thomas veteran honoured with national award for work with Legion

Karen Vecchio, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, presenting Ronald Jewell with Minister of Vetrans the Affairs Commendation for his work with the Canadian Legion.
Karen Vecchio, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, presenting Ronald Jewell with Minister of Vetrans the Affairs Commendation for his work with the Canadian Legion. Sawyer Bogdan / 980 CFPL

“Whether it’s helping veterans get the resources or educating young families and children about why we remember, Ron has been an integral part of that for almost 40 years.”

That’s what Karen Vecchio, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, had to say about Ronald Jewell after he was honoured with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation.

Vecchio was one of several local politicians who joined local veterans, members of the Royal Canadian Legion and members of the community to honour Jewell at a special presentation at St. Thomas Royal Canadian Legion on Thursday.

She said it’s recognition from the highest level of government for the exceptional work Jewell has done for the community through the Royal Canadian Legion.

For the last 39 years, Jewell has served in many roles in the Legion as president, past president and vice president to name a few.

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In his current position, he assists veterans, widows and their families with befit requests as well as helping to organize the annual Remembrance Day Services and visiting Veterans in the local care home in his spare time.

Karen Vecchio, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, with honouree Ronald Jewell.
Karen Vecchio, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, with honouree Ronald Jewell. Sawyer Bogdan / 980 CFPL

“Not only was he in battle himself and has served in the Canadian armed forces, but he knows the resources and understands what they (veterans) need.”

Having served in the Canadian armed force for 28 years, Jewell travelled across the globe to places like Korea, Germany and Cyprus before retiring and joining the legion in 1980.

In 2016, Jewell ensured the St. Thomas cenotaph was updated to include soldiers who served in Afghanistan, NATO and on United Nations peacekeeping missions.

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He said it’s an honour to be recognized, but added recognition is not why he got involved in the first place.

“A long time ago when I first got out of the military, some of the guys from 91st, which is the First World War, were still alive, and I promised them that I would always keep the wreath going at the cenotaph,” he said.

“I also promised them indirectly that I would always look after the Legion and help with the Legion and always help any veteran that needed it.”

WATCH (Aug. 22, 2019): Second World War vet trying to raise $1M for Terry Fox Foundation

Second World War vet trying to raise $1M for Terry Fox Foundation
Second World War vet trying to raise $1M for Terry Fox Foundation