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PEACEKEEPER'S BIO

Peacekeeper's Photo MCpl (Ret'd) Frank Misztal, CD
(Updated 2 Oct 16)

    I was born in Namur, Belgium on 27 April 1946, after my parents left Poland in search of work following the end of World War II.  My family then emigrated to Canada in June 1956 in search of a better life.  When I arrived here, I could communicate in 3 languages (Polish, French and Flemish) but now had to learn a fourth one.  I've since lost my Flemish, starting to regain my French and maintained my Polish.

    Most of my life was spent in the Toronto area, where I graduated from Central Technical School in applied electronics in 1966.  In the spring of 1967 (Canada's Centennial year), I became a Canadian Citizen (my Centennial project).  I am currently married to Donna (nee MacKinnon of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) and have two sons, Chris (currently a member of the Canadian Army - Regular, who has served two tours in Afghanistan) and Andrew. I also have a married daughter, Jeanine, who lives in Barrie, Ontario.

    My military career started in high school, where I joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps which was affiliated with the Queens Own Rifles of Canada and attained the rank of Cadet Major (the system was different in those days).   Let it be known that prior to 1966, cadet service was compulsory in high school for grades 10 and 12, but a student could volunteer in grade 9.  Believe me, it was very difficult to be in the military during the sixties, but I was determined.

    On 7 November, 1962, I became a member of 8th Signals Regiment, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in Toronto (later known as 709 Communication Regiment and is currently 32 Signal Regiment).  After 15 years there and at the rank of Warrant Officer, I transferred to the Royal Regiment of Canada.  I guess I needed a change of pace and wanted to find out what the "grunts" were all about.  Prior to going to the "Royals", however, I applied to join the Regular Force, but was told that I was "too old" at the age of thirty.

    After having spent 5 years with the "Royals", where I appreciated the camaraderie and learned infantry skills, I decided it was time to return to the Sigs and transfered back to 709 Communication Regiment in 1983. I stayed with the Sigs (where I attained the rank of Master Warrant Officer) until February 1989.

    In 1988, the Canadian Charter of Rights did away with age discrimination and I applied (again) to transfer to the Regular Force in September 1988.  Finally, in February 1989, my lifelong dream was fulfilled.  I was accepted (as a Corporal at the age of 42) and took my first posting to 1 Canadian Signal Regiment (later known as 1 Canadian Division Headquarters and Signals Regiment, then Canadian Forces Joint Headquarters and Signals Regiment) in Kingston, Ontario as a radio operator.

    During my stay in Kingston, I was able to complete 2 United Nations peacekeeping missions.  My first mission was in the Golan Heights (Israel/Syria) in 1991 and my second one was served in Bosnia/Croatia in 1994/95.  In August 1995, I was posted to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

    While in Ottawa, I flew to France as part of an honour guard, where I had the privilege and honour of participating in ceremonies of remembrance at Vimy Ridge (where Canada accomplished one of the biggest victories of the First World War) and Beaumont Hamel (where the Royal Newfoundland Regiment valiantly fought and few survived in the same war).

    During that time (7-10 November, 1997) I also participated in the burial of 3 remaining crewmen of a Second World War Halifax bomber found in a bog in Belgium.  They were buried in a small cemetery just outside Brussels, next to the first 4 members of the same crew. These were memorable events I will never forget and it was also the first time I set foot on Belgian soil since I left in 1956.

    I retired from the Canadian Forces on 26 April 2002, after over 40 years in uniform and settled in Kingston. I occupied my time by court-mounting military medals and, to keep my computer skills up to date, I worked part-time as technical support for a local Internet service provider.

    Now fully retired for about 4 years, I keep active by doing maintenance around the house as I'm a "Jack-of-all-trades".   I also spend a lot of time outdoors working on my ample-sized vegetable garden.


AWARDS / RECOGNITION RECEIVED

  • Awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. (Nominated by the CAVUNP (2012)
  • Profiled in an Ontario Secondary School Grade 10 history textbook:
    Experience History (Oxford University Press). (2006)
  • Profiled in an Ontario Secondary School Grade 12 literacy textbook:
    Break Away (Oxford University Press). (2004)
  • Commanding Officer's Commendation "in recognition of outstanding support". (2003)
    Presented by LCol Zens, CO LOGBATT (CCUNDOF) at CFB Trenton on 29 May.
  • Presented with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal by the Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs. Nomination for the medal was made by the CAVUNP (2002)
  • Communication & Electronic Branch Commendation "to acknowledge hard work, dedication and perseverance". (2002)
  • Certificate of Appreciation "in recognition of contribution to the development and growth of the Military Family Resource Center (National Capital Region)". (2002)
  • Certificate of Appreciation "for 3 years of dedicated service to the Military Family Resource Center (National Capital Region) Board of Directors". (2000)
  • Commander's Commendation from CCUNDOF "in recognition for outstanding achievement on maintenance of the CCUNDOF Internet home page". (1999)
  • Commanding Officer's Commendation CCUNDOF for "outstanding effort in the creation of the CCUNDOF Internet home page". (1998)
  • Certificate of Recognition from Cdn Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) Commandant for "outstanding service to the community council". (1997)
  • Award Certificate from the Base Commander of CFB Kingston for "meritorious service rendered to the community". (1995)

CURRENT HOBBIES/ACTIVITIES


SOME NOTABLE THINGS I'VE DONE AND LIKE TO DO

  • Speak to students (Secondary and Elementary Schools)
  • Vice President of Board of Directors of the Military Family Resource Center (MFRC - Ottawa)
  • Secretary of the Canadian Association of Veterans in UN Peacekeeping (CAVUNP - Ottawa Chapter)
  • Mayor of the Elizabeth Park Community Council (Ottawa)
  • Member of Fort Henry Hts Community Council (Kingston)
  • Played trumpet in high school bands
  • Enjoy Military Tatoos and listening to military music
  • Sang in public school and in Polish church choirs
  • Polish folk dancer in my mid to late teens and performed at the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto





This page is Copyright © 1997 - 2016 Frank Misztal.
Kingston, ON, Canada