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Metro Vancouver bus operator shows his appreciation on Remembrance Day

Metro Vancouver bus operator shows his appreciation on Remembrance Day

​​​​For Gehad Hegazy, a bus operator at Coast Mountain Bus Company, Remembrance Day holds special significance. His family immigrated from Egypt to Canada when he was only 10 years old.

“As an immigrant, I know how blessed we are to have the rights we do and the freedoms we enjoy, and that it came at a cost. On Remembrance Day, the least we can do is show our appreciation for our veterans and combat members who served their country.”

Looking for a way to give back to the community that welcomed him as a child, Gehad joined The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Vancouver’s Reserve Infantry regiment, as an Infantryman in November 2013.

“Volunteering my services and time with the Canadian Armed Forces, providing humanitarian assistance, and going wherever they need me to go, is my way of giving back,” says Gehad, who recently returned to his role as a Bus Operator after a five-month deployment in Vancouver and Edmonton.

“In Vancouver, we were trained to support seniors with COVID-19, learning proper testing procedures and how to keep ourselves and others safe. And, at the Canadian Forces Base Wainwright in Edmonton, ​I prepared for the Primary Leadership Qualification course, which I am currently taking.”

Amongst Gehad’s many proud moments as an Infantryman, one event in particular highlights the positive impact military members have on our communities.

“In the summer of 2017, I was deployed to Williams Lake for forest fire support during a bad wildfire season,” says the Bus Operator. “We helped fire fighters and forest service personnel put out fires. I’ll always remember the residents coming up to us and sincerely thanking us for our service.”

A former Criminology student, Gehad has also been volunteering with the Collingwood Community Policing Centre for more than eight years. “It’s another way to give back to the community,” he says.

Written by Kim Van Haren