and Past Military Personnel
and Past Military Personnel
Bluedrop is proud to have current and former military personnel among our team. They bring valuable skills, experience, and a wealth of knowledge to the workplace.
This Remembrance Day, Bluedrop is honoring and highlighting employees who are currently serving or who have previously served in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Below are the bios of the Bluedrop men and women who so bravely dedicated their time and services to the Canadian Armed Forces.
Eva Martinez, Sr. Director, ISS Business Development
Why did you join the military? As an Air Cadet, I developed a deep interest and early passion for a military career. I joined the military because I wanted to continue my leadership development in challenging, operational environments.
Are you currently still active in the military? I retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2002.
What rank/position were/are you? Major.
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? Remembrance Day is an opportunity to express heartfelt appreciation for the many sacrifices made by others for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Valerie Finney, Director, Instructional Design
Why did you join the military? I wanted to work with the Cadet Program.
Are you currently still active in the military? Yes.
What rank/position were/are you? Lieutenant Commander (LCdr).
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? Because I’m a reservist in a non-operational role, I always reflect on those who served our country during conflict, like my grandfather (Gerald Whelan, Royal Artillery WWII) and my great-grandfather (Thomas Gowans, Royal Newfoundland Regiment WWI). Nowadays though, I have friends who have served in more recent conflicts and I see the impact that serving in a war zone has had on them. On Remembrance Day, I always remember those, like my grandfathers, who fought in world wars and other global conflicts for many years and so far from home. It’s also a day that I honour those who still serve.
Jan Blackmore, Customer Service Point of Issue Operator and Technician
Why did you join the military? I always wanted to join the military, I looked at it as a career not a job.
Are you currently still active in the military? No.
What rank/position were/are you? I was a Warrant Officer, Stationed in Cold Lake Alberta. Employed as the 1 AMS Line Supervisor.
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? It is a day to reflect and remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. To celebrate those that remain and to let them know their sacrifices matter.
Bob Klein, Naval Training Systems Subject Matter Expert
Why did you join the military? I enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces because it was a vocation that intrigued me as a young person. I was an Air Cadet in my formative years and enjoyed the discipline, activities, and comradery of belonging to a group focused on the same interests. Furthermore, I always wished to do exciting things like diving and travel – endeavours which I fulfilled by joining the RCN. I traveled a lot, became a Navy clearance diver, and established many good friendships.
Are you currently still active in the military? Having enjoyed many good things the RCN provided me; it came time for me to hang-up my fins in 2019 because they said so. They now call me – Veteran.
What rank/position were/are you? Retired as Commander (Cdr).
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? To me, it is a day of reflection of the sacrifices many services persons had made to afford us the freedom that we as Canadians enjoy today. Some never returned and those that did return tended not to be the same person prior to deployment. Those brave souls need to be commended and remembered. I lost a shipmate in the Afghanistan War, and one returned with PTSD so it hits home that “I shall never forget”.
Gordon Yule, Subject Matter Expert
Why did you join the military? I joined the navy to serve my country, get an education and to see the world.
Are you currently still active in the military? I retired from the Navy in 2019 after 33 years of service.
What rank/position were/are you? I retired as a CPO2.
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? Remembrance Day for me is a day to reflect and remember the great memories I have had with my peers/co-workers that I served with that have passed away.
Peggy O’Neil, Subject Matter Expert
Why did you join the military? I joined military to serve my country.
Are you currently still active in the military? No.
What rank/position were/are you? I was a Chief Warrant Officer.
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? We all need to remember the sacrifices made by those who laid their lives on the line so that we may live in a free society.
Colin Aitken, Intermediate Technical Writer
Why did you join the military? When I finished High School I thought joining the Military would be a great way to learn a trade, get paid and be able to travel and see the world at the same time and little did I know that it would be much more then that. It became an honor and a privilege to serve my country.
Are you currently still active in the military? No, I am not an active member of the Military. In 2008 I retired after 26 years’ service to the Military and my Country.
What rank/position were/are you? When I retired, I was the rank of Corporal and I was an Engine Technician. At the time I was the Engine Test Facility Custodian and Testing Engines for the SeaKing in Shearwater.
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? Remembrance Day for me means to remember all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we all have the freedoms that we have today. Also, to remember those I served with and have died in the line of duty for their country. LEST WE FORGET.
Bruce Lockyer, Aerospace Training Systems Specialist
Why did you join the military? Initially, I joined the Navy as a steppingstone to the RCMP. It didn’t take long to realize this would be a longer path to follow. I quickly got involved in several specialties, Navy Driver, Air Controller, and Ships Helicopter Operations. That had me involved in some significant Search and Rescues and transferring to the Airforce.
Are you currently still active in the military? I’ve been retired now 13 years after almost 31 years but still maintain communication with many colleagues and friends.
What rank/position were/are you? I retired as a Warrant Officer.
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? I was the only descendant who joined the military after both my grandfathers served in WWII. I have learned after serving the importance of the sacrifices they made with their fellow service members and to those I have worked with all these years. I believe everyone should pay their respects to all military service members past and present for the country we live in today.
Ryan Tyler, Subject Matter Expert
Why did you join the military? To fly military aircraft and contribute to missions and operations at home and around the world.
Are you currently still active in the military? No longer active, but still a member of the Supplemental Reserve.
What rank/position were/are you? Officer commanding a helicopter tactics development unit.
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? It is time to reflect on the friends and fellow soldiers lost during my time in uniform, as well as the contributions of previous generations.
Barbarie Palmer, Sr. Director, Simulation Products & Technology
Why did you join the military? I joined the military because I wanted to be able to be an aerospace engineer and to do something ‘real’ faster than I would be able to in the civilian world. I was (and am) very strongly drawn to the need to serve.
Are you currently still active in the military? No, I retired in August of 2016 after 23 years of service.
What rank/position were/are you? In my last post, I was the Commanding Officer of 12 Air Maintenance Squadron and the Senior Aircraft Maintenance Authority for the Canadian Maritime Helicopter fleets.
What does Remembrance Day mean to you? To me, Remembrance Day is very personal – not about me or my service but in remembrance of the individual stories that comprise our collective freedom. I was once told that everyone dies twice: once when you stop breathing and once when your name ceases to be spoken. Remembrance Day, to me, is about speaking their names and remembering their stories. My service was one of choice. I remember those that gave me that choice, often when they didn’t have that right themselves. I reflect on the freedoms and rights that are so often taken for granted and the cost to those that secured that freedom. I remember those that sacrificed, in death and in life, such that my children don’t need to be afraid, and I think of those that still stand, working to ensure that all can one day say the same.
Fred Pickett, Naval Training Systems Subject Matter Expert
Why did you join the military? I was a Sea Cadet from a young age and moved up through the ranks quickly and was also member of the courageous sailing club in London Ontario and became the Coxn (Snr Chief) of the MV Rhea 59 previously YMS 299. A Yard Minesweeper from WW2. Mines had magnetic force to make them attack battleships. The YMS was made of wood to skirt around the mines and destroy them. It was converted to a cadet training vessel and stationed in Port Stanley Ontario in the 60’s and sailed on Lake Erie to train sea cadets in seamanship. I took leadership courses in BC at Cadet Camp Quadra and enjoyed sailing, the adventure training and learning all aspects of seamanship. I left my hometown of Brantford Ontario in February of 1981 at the age 17 to start basic training in Cornwallis Nova Scotia.
Are you currently still active in the military? No, I was medically released from the military due to injuries resulting from my service in April 2014 after serving 33+ years.
What rank/position were/are you? I retired as a Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class. I was stationed in Halifax my entire career, however due to staying in Halifax I was deployed more than the average sailor. This benefitted me by keeping my family in Halifax and them having my wife’s family as a support mechanism while I was deployed. My final posting was Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) N-52 Readiness and Policy. 3 Days after my retirement I started with Atlantis which was bought out by Bluedrop shortly after.
What does Remembrance Day mean to you?
Canadians recognize Remembrance Day, originally called Armistice Day, every 11 November at 11 a.m. It marks the end of hostilities during the First World War and an opportunity to recall all those who have served in the nation’s defense.
Personally, for me Remembrance Day for me is a reflection to me of those who have served before me, with me and who are serving and will deploy in the future. Those who paid the ultimate sacrifice both in battle and at home dealing with the mental effects as a result of their duties and also other injuries sustained while serving. The hardships they endured while away from family and friends while serving their country. My family was not military before I joined with the exception of 1 uncle however my wife’s family including her father and brother, many uncles and cousins had served mainly with the Army. Not only do I remember them on Remembrance Day but every day of the year. I have lost many close friends and the majority were under 60 and passed due to injuries or diseases incurred during their time in service. We will remember them.