No preamble and with no warning, the booming voice echo’s across the small gymnasium I called home twice a week in Grand Valley, Ontario.
Without a second thought, 40 or so Air Cadets drop everything and snap too attention knowing CI Scott Hambleton meant business.
Hambleton was a no-nonsense, larger than life, drill instructor and real life teddy bear all wrapped into one. I spent many nights under his instruction with the 85 Tornado Squadron Drill team, learning the fine art behind left-turns, right-wheels, slow marches and in some ways; life.
He was also someone who would lend you an ear regardless of what was going on in your life. Always prepared with a piece of advice, which may not have made sense at the time, but did when you thought of it.
The experience he gathered in his time serving Canada as a member of the Armed Forces, including while based in Germany, became an invaluable tool to our team throughout the years.
Under his instruction we became a multiple award-winning team, competing throughout southern Ontario.
When a squadron mate passed away, I will always remember a conversation with him shortly after the news came down. I was getting ready to call it quits, I didn’t see much reason in continuing as a cadet.
He looked straight at me, with the eyes that could cut right through you, but also showed he cared.
“Do you think that is how she would have wanted you to remember her, by quitting?”
It wasn’t quite “suck it up buttercup”, but I understood what he was getting at.
Both his sons, Wayne and Darren, as well as his wife Linda, were a constant part of my life growing up.
Although time and distance has done what it does to relationships, their father and husband had significant part in forming the person behind these words today.
At the age of 60, Scott was taken from all of us way to soon in a tragic car crash outside of Orangeville, Ontario in the past week.
His life lessons and friendship will never be forgotten by this cadet, turned journalist.
Until we meet again Scott, “Stand-Easy” and thank-you.
“Sometimes people come into your life for a moment, a day, or a lifetime. It matters not the time they spent with you, but how they impacted your life in that time.” – unknown.