Mr. Speaker, it is with profound sadness that I rise today to mark the passing of Brigadier-General Robert Heitshu, a decorated veteran, a family friend, and a fellow gunner.
Bob joined the army reserves in 1944, served the guns honourably and well, and received his commission as an officer in 1950, thus serving his nation in uniform for over 39 years. Throughout his career, General Heitshu became an army pilot, and, as mentioned, served on the gun lines, was an air observer, and was later president of Canadian AirOP Association.
Following his retirement from the military, Bob joined a variety of organizations and remained very active in the Ottawa community. He joined the Corps of Commissionaires, as well as the Gloucester police commission.
I and all successive generations of officers who followed are greatly indebted to General Heitshu for his enormous contribution to the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. Being a soldier was his lifelong dream.
I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and friends.