Acton Kilby in a poppy field in Korea. (Contributed)

Acton Kilby in a poppy field in Korea. (Contributed)

Veteran honoured in Salmon Arm where his 43-year military career began

‘Salmon Arm is such a good place to come back to.’

Acton Kilby was honoured with a flag-raising in Salmon Arm, marking his retirement from a 43-year military career.

The City of Salmon Arm raised a Canadian flag honouring Kilby’s retirement on Thursday, Oct. 27.

“Colonel Kilby grew up and attended school in Salmon Arm and his impressive career & service with the Armed Forces will not be forgotten,” explains a post on the city’s Facebook page. “Master Warrant Officer Eric Vachon provided the flag, which will be presented to Colonel Kilby along with a congratulatory letter from the Mayor. Thank you for your service, Colonel Acton Kilby.”

Kilby was born in London, Ont. while his father served in the military. His grandfather had also served, and growing up, Kilby knew that serving his country was something that interested him. After a move to Salmon Arm, Kilby joined the Rocky Mountain Rangers local reserve unit in 1979.

He later entered the Regular Army in 1984 as an Infantry Officer, and has been deployed all over the world. He has commanded from Platoon to Battalion level, worked in many strategic and foreign liaison roles, and finished his career as Deputy Chief of Staff with the United Nations Command HQ in South Korea. This ability to travel and serve his country scratched the travel itch for Kilby, and he sees it as a privilege that he has fully enjoyed.

Kilby’s mother now lives in Salmon Arm, and he makes trips here to visit her from his home in Ottawa whenever possible.

“Salmon Arm is such a good place to come back to,” he said, grateful for this community.

Kilby was posted back to Canada from Korea in September, and is currently in the transition process of retiring from the military. This leaves time to finish one’s service and go through administration tasks, and it worked out for Kilby to make the trip to see the flag being raised. The process will finish and he will be officially retired by the end of the year.

When military personnel end their service, they are traditionally gifted a Canadian flag. The retiree can choose where they would like the flag to fly, and Kilby chose Salmon Arm, where his career started.

READ MORE: One last gig: Concert to help launch lasting legacy in former Salmon Arm musician’s name

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Acton Kilby receiving commissioning scroll from his father. (Contributed)

Acton Kilby receiving commissioning scroll from his father. (Contributed)

Acton Kilby in Afghanistan connecting with some members of the Rocky Mountain Rangers. (Contributed)