Sturgis resident has good memories of military service

Being paratrooper was the best time of his life and he would not have changed anything about his time that he served in the Army, stated Master Corporal (retired) Dave Whynot.

Dave Whynot grew-up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and retired to Sturgis. He enlisted in the Canadian Infantry in 1989. He left for CFB Cornwallis, Digby, NS basic training shortly after his high school graduation.

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MCpl Whynot was sent to CFB Petawawa, Ont. to the Royal Canadian Regiment Battle School where he was taught the basic soldiering skills expected of a Canadian soldier.  Upon graduation from Battle School he was posted to the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment. Upon arrival at Battalion MCpl Whynot would be taught the skills of a mechanized soldier. At that time, they used MII3 armored personnel carriers.

Shortly after his arrival at Battalion (approximately 8 months) MCpl Whynot was deployed to Chateauguay, Que just outside of Montreal to enforce martial law and to conduct patrols and checkpoints in the area of Kahnawake and Tekakwitha Island during the Oka Crisis in Quebec, also known as the Mohawk Resistance, which was a 78-day standoff (July 11 to September 26, 1990) between Mohawk protesters, police, and army. At the heart of the crisis was the proposed expansion of a golf course and development of condominiums on disputed land that included a Mohawk burial group.

Soon after his return from his Oka deployment MCpl Whynot had requested several times to be placed on the Basic Parachutist Course. His persistence landed him in Edmonton for three weeks at the Canadian Airborne Parachute Center. There he completed six jumps with 130 pounds of equipment to receive his Basic Parachute Wings.

That following summer MCpl Whynot was posted to CFB Petawawa with 3 Airborne Commando, Canadian Airborne Regiment and never looked back.

"I had always wanted to be a paratrooper growing up and I had always wanted to be part of an elite group of soldiers and be posted to 3 Airborne Commando, Canadian Airborne Regiment " said Whynot. "I have travelled the world and enjoyed the camaraderie, the great times we had, the tough times we endured and those times in which you don’t come home with those whom you had departed with.  Every soldier has a special bond with those for whom they have served with and that special relationship will last until each other’s dying breath.”

He was posted to Petawawa where he spent 13 years with deployments to Somalia from 1992 to 1993 and Bosnia in 1998 to 1999. Whynot spent nine-and-a-half months in Somalia providing peace and humanitarian aid to the region. “We were the biggest sheriffs in town," he said.

"We were fortunate that Canada is well respected, which enabled us to help in negotiation talks but sometimes situations escalated and forced us to take actions. I can remember on one such patrol on the Ethiopian border we found ourselves in the middle of a dust storm.  Once the dust storm had subsided our patrol found ourselves in the middle of a mine field. That is something that I will never forget.” 

As a paratrooper he received many injuries as both of his legs were broken, and also separated his shoulders.

Upon his retirement in 2001, he furthered his education and attained his Advanced Care Paramedic status with spending 12 years before his retirement from that position in 2013. He attained a job with CN Rail as a Freight Train Conductor but was laid off and then jumped on a job with Universal Rail.

"I love living life on the edge and whatever I have done in my life has echoed it," said Whynot.

He moved to Sturgis at a point in his life where he needed to relax and do what he enjoys and that is being outside hunting and fishing.

Whynot has received numerous medals and awards throughout his career which includes his German, American Army, Italian and British Parachute jump wings, Medals include: Somalia Mission, Bosnia (former Yugoslavia), UN Peacekeeping and a Canadian Forces Decoration for 12 years of service to the Country of Canada.