“I always had the intent to serve my country and I was very passionate about Canada.”
Capt. Sheldon Maerz always knew that he was going to be a part of something big.
As an undergraduate student in the College of Agriculture, he felt most himself when he was working towards a goal with his peers.
After working in the private sector in the agriculture industry after university, Maerz began to miss what he found in college—being a part of a group working towards a large goal.
From the need for camaraderie, his love for Canada, and the deep respect he had for those who served for Canada before him, including his late father who served in the Second World War, Maerz decided to join the Canadian Forces.
“The College of Agriculture at that time was a small, tight-knit group with a lot of camaraderie. I found a similar camaraderie when I joined the Canadian Forces.”
From his experience with the Canadian Forces and understanding of the impact that many veterans before him have had on Canada and the world, Maerz shared some thoughts about Remembrance Day.
"Every year around Remembrance Day we should think, ‘what is the significance of remembrance, really?’ When it came to the world wars and those calls to arms were made, Canadians didn’t have to go. And that’s something that should put things in a little bit of perspective. Realizing that our forefathers voluntarily went overseas to serve for the greater good.”
Maerz, a senior stick in 1985-86, worked in the private sector in the agriculture industry for three years before deciding to enlist to the Canadian Forces.
He joined the military in 1989 and his first deployment was to Croatia in 1993 for seven months to help with peacekeeping efforts during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
After coming back from Croatia, Maerz left the military for a couple of years to do something different. But when 9/11 happened, Maerz returned to the Canadian Forces and to help with the mission in Afghanistan. He did a six-month tour in 2006, which extended into an additional three months.
For six months in 2008, he worked with 22 Canadians and 166 Afghans to train them as police officers in Kandahar.
After wrapping up his tour in October 2008, Maerz moved into a role as a military career counsellor with the Forces. He retired in February.
Lest we forget.
The University of Saskatchewan is home to many memorials for those who lost their lives during the world wars. Find out where and how to remember with USask this Remembrance Day.
It’s the People of USask who enable us to be what the world needs.