WO Francis George O’Mara

WO O'Mara FGAllow me to introduce myself. My name is Rod Loesch. I recently (?) retired from the army back in Jan ‘ 00 after 20 years service. Most of my time was spent in the Armoured Corps and 90 % of the time there was in Recce SQN of the Strathconas out west. There were other places that I traveled, but that’s better left for another time.

My reason for e-mailing you is that I quite stumbled upon your web site for the CAR by accident. As it was I was extremely happy to see that someone from the Regiment had taken the time to put up a site, and an excellent site it is. As I was going through the site, I looked into the photos section. Some great pics there! I then went to the Roll of Honour section and therein lies my reason for e-mailing you.

I saw a name that I’ve thought of over the years, that of Warrant Officer O’Mara. How did I come to know this man? If you open up the attachment, you’ll see a picture of him and another member of the Regiment, Cpl Smith. Both were attached to Vernon Army Cadet Camp back in 1975. The Airborne ran the camp that year, and let me tell you, for a 14 year kid from Winnipeg, it was an experience! There’s a long winded story about the three of us who had received a weekend pass with the plan to go into Vernon and get a hotel room, but to make a long story short, we were caught by none other than WO O’Mara. The end result was not a pretty sight! Needless to say there was NO harassment involved, the good WO was very firm and strict. That incident stayed with me for years. I admired him then, and I still admire the type of man he was. A true professional.

There was also another man I’II never forget from that summer, a (at the time) M/Cpl Geripy (spelling is off, but that’s how it sounds).

The lesson this man taught me all those years had to do with navigation, and how to NOT aim/march on a bearing to the nearest landmark, in this case a lone tree. As I approached this tree, lo and behold, who should roll out from behind the tree with an FN aimed right at me? The good M/Cpl took his time and demonstrated outstanding patience in explaining some fundamentals of navigation to myself and the other members of our happy little gang.

These are but a few short stories/memories I have of the members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. Nothing at all like those who actually served in the Regiment, but stories still about the members.

With that Rob, I’II sign off here. If you should have any other questions, or require any further details WRT the picture etc, feel free to e-mail me at oldesarge2000@yahoo.com.

Sgt (ret’d) Rod Loesch
Edmonton, Alberta

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