Lieut. Mary Valair, a Vernon native now based out of 17 Wing Winnipeg, receives a badge for the upcoming Nijmegen March in the Netherlands. Valair will be marching for her grandfather starting on July 16. (Submitted photo)

Air Force officer from Okanagan will march in the Netherlands

Lieut. Valair hopes to walk in her grandfather’s footsteps over four days in Nijmegen

A Royal Canadian Air Force officer from Vernon will be marching for her grandfather next week in the Netherlands.

Lieut. Mary Valair is a logistics officer based out of 17 Wing Winnipeg. Along with team members from her air force base, she will participate in the annual four-day Nijmegen March, starting on Tuesday, July 16.

Valair will march to honour her grandfather, who spent three months in the city of Nijmegen during the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War.

READ MORE: Historic military planes to take flight over Penticton

“She hopes to gain a unique perspective, and to have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of her grandfather, as well as many other Canadians in an attempt to understand the sacrifices they made,” a Canadian Armed Forces release said.

Valair also hopes to give her grandfather the medal she will receive if she completes the march.

READ MORE: Veteran makes sure no one forgets

The Nijmegen March started as a national event in 1909 to increase the long-distance marching and weight-carrying capacity of infantry soldiers.

Over the past 110 years, the march has grown to an international event with tens of thousands of participants.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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