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A mother’s pride: Honouring the service and sacrifice of one of Cottlesville’s many military members


COTTLESVILLE, NL — For a town of less than 300 residents, Cottlesville has seen more than its fair share of community members serve in the military over the years.

On Nov. 11 a large contingent of those residents turned out to take part in the Remembrance Day ceremony and view the display put together by the Cottlesville War Memorial Committee honouring those who have served and those currently serving in the military.

The history on display included personal photos, mementos and letters.

One area of the display that is close to the heart of Arlene Anstey pertains to Shane Dolmovic. She takes pride in talking about all the contributions those honoured in the room made, but those of her son Shane are the closest and most emotional for her to talk about.

“I got involved (with the committee) after my son served in Afghanistan,” she said. “I’m glad I did.”

 

A sad day remembered from Afghanistan.
A sad day remembered from Afghanistan.

 

Part of the display contains newspaper clippings and reminders about the Medal of Military Valour her son received “for risking his life to save his friends.”

On April 11, 2007, while deployed to Afghanistan, Dolmovic and fellow soldier Dave Gionet of Pigeon Hill, New Brunswick provided life-saving first aid to a comrade whose vehicle had been blown up in a roadside bomb attack.

The dangers were real, as they battled through fire, explosions and enemy attack to free the driver and provide vital assistance.

Dolmovic returned for a second deployment to Afghanistan in 2009.

The story of what happened that day is written in at least two books that Anstey has incorporated into the display. She hasn’t been able to bring herself to read them yet, knowing that there was a loss of life that day and that her son was on the ground in that situation.

Being so close to her son, reading the written account and knowing all the details isn’t something she’s prepared to do yet.

While Remembrance Day filled her with a great sense of pride for her son and those like him from the community, Anstey was looking forward to getting home that day. She had packing to do before taking to the road to travel to Ontario – to visit Dolmovic, who is stationed in Petawawa.

Dolmovic is set to be deployed to Ukraine after Christmas, but not before Anstey could be there to celebrate seeing him married and to spend time with family and her seven-month-old grandson.

kwells@pilotnl.ca

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