On Remembrance Day 2022 - Andrew William Spittal was awarded a Quilt of Valour at the Pouce Coupe Legion.
You could say it was a bit of a sneak attack – with Spittal unaware of what was in the planning - and that he was going to be part of 2022 Pouce Coupe Remembrance Day ceremonies.
“For awhile there I thought he knew what we were up to in planning this,” says wife Danica.
It didn’t take long for Andrew to piece together what was happening however.
Andrew was five years old when his family moved to Dawson Creek and he attended Tremblay Elementary. In April of 1982 at the age of 22, Spittal joined the Canadian Forces, and was sent to Edmonton and then Gage Town, NB for basic training.
Throughout his 22 years he was sent to Germany and Bosnia.
In between these tours he was married to Constance and welcomed a daughter. Two years later Constance had passed on - and Andrew committed to being a single father - and it was this commitment that led Spittal to retire from the military in 2003.
In 2011 Andrew met Danica, and the pair were married in 2018 and his family of two grew to a family of five.
Andrew says it is rare to be thanked for service.
Danica said she heard about the program last year and applied for a Quilt for Andrew - with some coordination between Fort Nelson and Dawson Creek.
"I was worried he might find the quilt at the house one day.
“I was aiming for September, but then Remembrance Day was a good fit.”
Spittal wiped tears away as he approached to receive the Quilt, presented by Pouce Coupe firefighter Dillon Waller, Spittal's nephew.
Quilt of Valour program is a tribute to Canadian Armed Forces member, past or present. The program was started in 2006 when a local Edmonton quilter Lezley Zwaal presented quilts to three Canadian Armed Forces members who were recovering in hospital from injuries they received in Afghanistan.