Retired Master Corporal Ed Duffney is making an impact within the Canadian Armed Forces, even in retirement. After a 35-year career, he has traded his uniform for t-shirts.
“I needed something to do, and wanted something to help the veterans, even though I’m here as a patient too. I said ‘Oh my gosh, I can do something here!’”
Since March, Mr. Duffney has sold over $10,000 worth of t-shirts, each with a design aimed to raise awareness about veterans.
The funds from his t-shirt sales goes back into the program that houses Mr. Duffney, the Veterans Care Program at Parkwood Hospital.
Director of the Veterans Care Program, Heather Tales, says the money raised by Mr. Duffney, along with other community initiatives, helps enhance the quality of life for the 130 residents, that are currently housed in the hospital.
“It’s key. If a veteran needs special shows, or if they need a special mattress, or if they need special equipment in their room, like a ceiling lift, in order to support their care. Those funds allow us to do those things.”
The money extends further than just medical needs.
“If they want to have a special meal, or if they want to go to a park, or see a hockey game… We’ve had a veteran celebrating their 70thwedding anniversary, and if we can do something special to honour and celebrate that, we’re able to do that. It’s all those little touches to make this place feel like home, and that much more special.”
Helping others is something that Mr. Duffney is no stranger to. He is credited with raising over $500,000 for various charities during 35-year career in the army.
In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Award for his actions which include running a Newfoundland hospital society where he took care people waiting for organ transplant, and putting the flags on the Veterans Highway. The later took him three years and going through three levels of government to approve.
According to at Tales, Mr. Duffney is a household name in the Veterans Care Program.
“Everyone in this building and every veteran knows Mr. Duffney because he is an amazing salesman… I’m always inspired by how entrepreneurial he is, but he is so humble about his service and what he’s done. 35-years commitment to the army is significant, but he doesn’t really talk about that, he just wants to raise money to help support the veterans.”