'It said I should be ashamed': Parksville veteran targeted with vindictive notes
Published Wednesday, November 6, 2019 8:30AM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 6, 2019 2:36PM PST
A Parksville man who served for 34 years in the Royal Canadian Navy says he's been the target of some anonymous, vindictive notes placed on his car windshield.
Ernie Peaker is proud of his service. He retired in 2002 and has veteran licence plates on his vehicle. Twice he's returned from golfing to find a typed note placed on his car.
"It said I should be ashamed of displaying the veteran plates because it takes away from real veterans."
Peaker wasn't in combat but served all over the world, including war-ravaged Cambodia and the Arabian Gulf after Sept. 11, 2001. He's been recognized for his service with multiple awards but he says the stranger's act stings.
"I was very disappointed and disheartened," Peaker says.
Just under one week away from Remembrance Day, members of the Royal Canadian Legion are preparing to honour veterans. They reacted with sadness to news of Peaker's treatment.
"A veteran is a veteran is a veteran," says Angus Stanfield, vice-president of the Royal Canadian Legion.
He says he's glad such acts of malice are rare. "It matters not where you served, what happens in your time of service, because none of that is up to you. You're trained and when you're called you go."
Peaker calls the person attacking his service small-minded but says he doesn't favour a combative response.
"I would like them to come forward and we could sit down and talk and I'd tell him my experiences and see what he thought then."
Peaker's wife, Norine, knows first-hand the sacrifices her husband has made and says she's even more upset than him.
"They've served their country and they've always been prepared to go to war, unlike the rest of us who enjoy our freedoms because of the armed forces."
Peaker says if he had the chance, he would tell the person who left the note to be more thoughtful.
"They wake up in their nice warm beds in the mornings and they get their coffees, but they don't understand that the people who are protecting them are keeping the wolves away from the door."