Toronto history teacher extraordinaire introduced the Veterans Breakfast Club to Jim Parks in Veterans Day, 2022. Jim is a 98-year-old Canadian WWII Veteran who joined the Canadian Army at age 15 and served through the end for the war.
Jim grew up in hardscrabble Winnipeg, Manitoba, during the Great Depression, and joined the Canadian Army in 1939 after Hitler invaded Poland. After training, he boarded a troopship in Halifax, Nova Scotia, bound for the British Isles. On June 6, 1944, Jim landed in the first wave on Juno Beach, the section of the Normandy coast designated for the Canadian infantry. As they were arriving to shore, Jim’s landing craft hit a mine, and Jim swam to share without his weapon. Fighting at Putot and Carpiquet followed, then a sweep into northeast France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Listen to the poignancy of Jim’s recollections of coming home and readjusting to civilian life, a world without war and also with out his comrades.