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Kipling peace-time veteran reflects on family's service

Hourd remarked that he saw the world and experienced a way of life like no other
Private Charles A (Charlie) Vargo served for only a brief time before being captured by enemy forces. However, he was a proud Canadian soldier, and his memory will live on.

KIPLING — Allen Hourd of Kipling is a peace-time veteran who served more than 26 years in the military.

Hourd served as a supply tech with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He saw many parts of the world while on duty aboard an auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ship, including Japan, China, Russia, Singapore, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, the Emirates of Dubai, Sandiago and Hawaii.

Hourd was stationed on numerous bases in Western Canada. He also spent two-week task appointments in Inuvik and Tully, Greenland. Hourd left the family farm to enlist in the military. There he learned self-discipline, organizational and technical skills as well as commitment to the group effort. Hourd remarked that he saw the world and experienced a way of life like no other.

Hourd’s grandfather, Charles A. (Charlie) Vargo was a veteran of the Second World War. He was wounded during a mission, captured and held as a prisoner of war in Germany for nearly a year in 1944. He was freed by the Americans and returned to his unit of the South Saskatchewan Regiment; there he was released from duty as wounded in action and returned home to the Kennedy area.

Hourd and his granddad, as he affectionately called him, shared service together during four separate Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Kennedy branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Vargo died in 2003. But his memory lives on with his family and friends. HIs service and sacrifice to his country will be remembered on Nov. 11.

Although Hourd himself did not serve in international hotspots, his service and commitment were recognized and he received the rank of sergeant. He retired to the family farm in Kipling area and remains active in the Kipling legion branch.

During the Remembrance Day ceremonies and parades, he is the sargeant at arms. He is joined in the march with Kipling and area Legion members. Other veterans attend the ceremony and offer their support.

Hourd has volunteered with the army cadets in Victoria, B.C., and Moose Jaw. He joined the Kipling legion branch as a regular member in 2016. Hourd remains active in the programs that are geared towards community connection and support for the from in and around the area.