For the love of Canada; how a Parry Sound man shows his gratitude

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For the love of Canada; how a Parry Sound man shows his gratitude

Post by Spider on Fri 13 Oct 2017, 3:13 pm

For the love of Canada; how a Parry Sound man shows his gratitude

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mike Brenn poses with a flag that hangs outside his family's Parry Sound home. The flag was designed by Brenn's father, Terry, who had it made in honour of all Canadian veterans. - Stephannie Johnson/Metroland

PARRY SOUND — You would be hard-pressed to find a more staunchly patriotic person than Mike Brenn.

When it comes to Canada and the men and women who served and continue to serve for the country, Mike will go out of his way to thank them for their sacrifice.

Mike, who has Down syndrome, lives with his father Terry in Parry Sound.

For more than a decade each Christmas, the two men work together over a couple of nights, sending 75 Christmas cards to those in the Canadian military. Although rules stipulate you can't sign the cards, Mike takes great joy out of the task of writing messages inside each and every one.

“If we see a soldier in the military, the air force, or whatever, I go an introduce Mike to them. There hasn’t been one that has balked at it — they welcome him with open arms." — Terry Brenn
Also a hockey lover, Mike and Terry learned about giving cards through Hockey Night in Canada’s Coach’s Corner host Don Cherry.

“Don’s a big promoter of the military and he mentioned it one year and I got thinking about it, because Mike is crazy about the military and we’ve been doing them ever since,” said Terry.

And a little magic, or divine intervention, came into play last April, when Terry took Mike out to dinner to Harvey’s for his birthday. The men sat close to the entrance when a little girl came bounding through the doors, her mom and dad close behind and made a beeline for Mike, Terry said.

The group began chatting, Terry and Mike learning that the gentleman had served in the military.

“I said: ‘Mike has contact with the military. He sends about 75 Christmas cards every year to the Christmas card drive for the solders’, and he choked up and I apologized. He went over to Mike, put his hand on his shoulder, he hugged Mike and said: ‘I got one of your cards.’“

Although Terry said he can’t remember the family’s name, he said it was astounding that they had driven from British Columbia, and were on their way to Sarnia to visit his ailing father and they chose to have dinner in Parry Sound.

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