Air Force Corporal honoured in his home town

Military tribute to Air Force veteran of 24 years, Corporal Silver

Corporal Jody Silver Photo Heather Silver Facebook

Corporal Jody Silver Photo Heather Silver Facebook

On Monday morning July 31, local soldier, Corporal Jody Silver was once again honoured by the Royal Canadian Air Force, this time, in his home town. Crew of the Canadian Forces Buffalo touched down at the Vanderhoof Airport to pay tribute to their well loved and respected colleague, the late Corporal Jody Silver.

Jody’s commanding officers then made their way to the Good Fellowship room at the Gospel Chapel, where the Air Cadets hold their meetings, and made a presentation to the Silver family in an informal ceremony.

“It was emotional and overwhelming. Very respectful and kind” says Jeannette Silver.

Jody is the son of Jeannette and Kenny Silver and brother to Heather and Colby Silver.

He was born and raised in Vanderhoof and graduated from Nechako Valley Secondary School. He began his military career with the Vanderhoof Air Cadets.

He served a couple of years on tours of duty for the UN Peace-keeping. He served several years on the army reserves, regular army, and finally, his dream; the Air Force.

Other tours included Cold Lake in the Canadian Arctic, which he loved. He was deployed to the Arctic for the big Y2K scare in 2000, when they thought computers were going to go crazy. He was a highly regarded problem solver, trusted by his military family. So he was someone they could rely on in times of uncertainty.

Serving as United Nations Peacekeeper, he was deployed to the Gaza Strip, where one of his duties was guarding the border of Syria. He performed his duties diligently no matter what the circumstances;

“He nearly caused an international incident when he refused to allow a vehicle into Syria because they didn’t have the proper documentation!” says Linda MacDonald, Corporal Jody Silver’s aunt.

“Intense! Can you imagine?”

On leave while in the Middle East, he visited Scotland, his family’s paternal home. He instantly knew he was at home.

“As soon as anyone found out he was a Canadian soldier, he never bought another drink, and, in London, was even invited to where the Palace guards hung out,” says Linda.

Jody’s biggest thrill was going to NASA with the F 18s. He had dreamed of being a pilot, but, it turned out he was colourblind and could not discern shades of green.

“So, he hit the wall and turned left. Did the next best thing; he became an aviation mechanic and “kept the flyers in the air,” says Linda.

Being colourblind wasn’t the only curveball he stepped up and returned with courage.

He was also left handed, so learning to fix airplanes with right handed tools was very challenging for him. He considered giving up, but his mom kept telling him, “You can do this, Jody. You can and will make it into the Air Force.” She believed in him and all of Jeannette and Kenny’s kids are extraordinary people.

“My nephew had a difficult time growing up. Highly intelligent, square peg in a bunch of round holes. He was handsome, witty and clever.”

“I went to visit him in Nanaimo in January,” recalls his aunt Linda, “and found he lived without ever turning the heat on!

“Reservists, it seems, have a very Spartan lifestyle!

Jody’s dad, Ken, and his grandparents, Marj and Ken Silver, Sr. owned the sporting goods store where Royal LePage is now. Jody called Marj, “Grandy” and she shared her vast knowledge with him about the world and possibilities.

“Before he passed, he had seen a lot of the world, and found the love of his life, Tara.”

After last Monday’s presentation to Jody’s family, the crew returned to the airport and headed back to Comox where Jody was stationed with his partner. Comox was a transfer he requested so that she could be close to her parents who needed support. Jody was also a member of the Deep Bay Volunteer Fire Department on the Island.

Linda recalls his military funeral in Nanaimo; “Several of his pallbearers were firefighters. After the funeral there was a huge Honor Guard with rifles crossed for us to pass under, and at the cemetery, a dozen soldiers stood vigil for well over an hour to pay tribute. They cannot move a muscle. Jody stood vigil for the fallen soldiers twice during Remembrance Day services, over two hours each time. That’s dedication!”

Jody had just signed up for a six month tour of duty in South Africa, and would be there now.

Jody would have been 46 years old this September. He passed away unexpectedly December 15 last year from a heart attack having been unaware that he had coronary heart disease. Something his family are still hurting about and struggling to accept as they ask questions like ‘What if he had known about his condition?’

Their loss is clearly a loss to us all

“We love and appreciate our Canadian Armed Forces; young men and women, our soldiers, our protectors.” says Linda.

“Thanks so much to the military, for giving him the send off he deserves,” says Jody’s aunt, Linda MacDonald. “He was a remarkable young man, he is missed.”

“He was a great man who gave of himself in so many ways, and he was loved by all who had the pleasure of knowing him,” says Jody’s sister, Heather Silver.

“My nephew had a difficult time growing up. Highly intelligent, square peg in a bunch of round holes. He was handsome, witty and clever.”

“I went to visit him in Nanaimo in January,” recalls his aunt Linda, “and found he lived without ever turning the heat on!

“Reservists, it seems, have a very Spartan lifestyle!

Jody’s dad, Ken, and his grandparents, Marj and Ken Silver, Sr. owned the sporting goods store where Royal LePage is now. Jody called Marj, “Grandy” and she shared her vast knowledge with him about the world and possibilities.

“Before he passed, he had seen a lot of the world, and found the love of his life, Tara.”

After last Monday’s presentation to Jody’s family, the crew returned to the airport and headed back to Comox where Jody was stationed with his partner. Comox was a transfer he requested so that she could be close to her parents who needed support. Jody was also a member of the Deep Bay Volunteer Fire Department on the Island.

Linda recalls his military funeral in Nanaimo; “Several of his pallbearers were firefighters. After the funeral there was a huge Honor Guard with rifles crossed for us to pass under, and at the cemetery, a dozen soldiers stood vigil for well over an hour to pay tribute. They cannot move a muscle. Jody stood vigil for the fallen soldiers twice during Remembrance Day services, over two hours each time. That’s dedication!”

Jody had just signed up for a six month tour of duty in South Africa, and would be there now.

Jody would have been 46 years old this September. He passed away unexpectedly December 15 last year from a heart attack having been unaware that he had coronary heart disease. Something his family are still hurting about and struggling to accept as they ask questions like ‘What if he had known about his condition?’

 

Canadian Forces Buffalo on the Vanderhoof Airport runway                                Photo Huey Stcherba

Canadian Forces Buffalo on the Vanderhoof Airport runway Photo Huey Stcherba

Reception at the Vanderhoof Airport                                Photo Tom Bulmer

Reception at the Vanderhoof Airport Photo Tom Bulmer