Eight delighted women from CFB Petawawa, two with husbands serving in Afghanistan, picked up a lottery cheque for $5 million Tuesday in a rare bit of good news for a base hit by tragedy this month.
Over the Labour Day long weekend, five soldiers from the base in eastern Ontario were killed in Afghanistan but the big win Tuesday made for a day of celebration.
“It's been a hard, hard time, you know, when the lads left and then to hear what had happened and that,” said Cheryl Coates, whose husband is serving in the war on the Taliban.
“There were sad faces walking around, especially as the military community, but we helped put a smile on their faces for a bit and forget about what's going on.”
Fellow winner Janice Larade, also a mother of three, has a husband on active duty in Afghanistan.
“My husband never swears and he did,” a laughing Ms. Larade said.
“He's excited, he's thrilled.”
Ms. Larade said she planned to keep on working on the base.
“It doesn't change our situation as a family,” she said.
Ms. Coates and Ms. Larade — along with Karen Chaput, Bobbi-Ann Davis, Rachel Desroche, Marilyn Cheeseman, Jennifer Rhoads and Claudette Robinson — arrived in Toronto in a limo to pick up their ceremonial cheque — worth $625,000 to each of them — in front of the cameras.
Their greatest prize, however, will be when their husbands come home safe and sound, having done their duty.
Source: Globe and Mail