May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, a time to reflect on and celebrate the contributions that Canadians of Asian descent have made and continue to make, to the growth and prosperity of Canada. Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated across Canada since the 1990’s. It is also a good time to pause, reflect and learn more about the distinguished service of Canadians of Asian Heritage who have served or continue to serve in The Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR). In honour of Asian Heritage Month, the RMR Foundation is publishing profiles of service of some of our members of Asian descent who have served (and continue to serve) in our ranks.
Westmount, Quebec – 22 May 2022: Born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Corporal (ret’d) Eric Wong, CD., joined the RMR from in 1982 and served for 32-years before retiring in 2014 (just in time for the Regiment’s centennial!). His final position in the Regiment was working in the Quartermaster stores. In civilian life he works as a Lead Hand for Canpar Express, so the teamwork, discipline, and organization he learned from his decades of service with the RMR likely serve him well to this day.
His advice to young soldiers is profound: “The people in the unit when I joined had a good influence on me. For the serving members I would tell them to take any opportunities that come up if they can and make the unit proud.”
When one serves more than three decades in the Regiment it can be difficult to distill all those experiences down to the single coolest thing he ever did in the army, but upon reflection he shared “That’s a hard one but I loved the 106 recoilless rifle.” It wasn’t hard for him to share that his favourite memories of service with the RMR were “It would probably be when I was in a helicopter with Colonel Hall. We were in the side seats with the door open when the helicopter banked we both looked at our seat belts, then at each other, and then we both laughed.”
Upon being asked what he liked the MOST about serving in the RMR, he said that “The people and in some small way serving the country.” and when pressed to share what he likes the least is the “In all honesty I can’t think of any one thing in particular, but parades always made me nervous.” Most soldiers would agree with him, because obviously whomever came up with the expression “everyone loves a parade” never stood at attention for 90-minutes in 32-degree heat in a wool uniform on an asphalt tarmac…
When asked for any final words that he’d like to share about his 32-years of service to the RMR, “Just that my time at the RMR was among the best time of my life.”