Man with city connection deployed on military operation in Arabian Sea
© Submitted photo
Able seaman Justin Parsons-Coady of St. John's is serving on the Royal Canadian Navy frigate the HMCS Toronto in the Arabian Sea as part of Operation ARTEMIS.
CORNER BROOK — Operating the radar and radio detection devices, keeping on top of radar jamming systems and decoys and the gun/missile-firing equipment is just a normal day on the job for Justin Parsons-Coady of St. John’s.
But doing all that on the HMCS Toronto, a Royal Canadian Navy frigate in the Arabian Sea, makes the 26-year-old able seaman’s job anything but typical.
The son of Wynne-Anne Parsons and David Coady of Corner Brook and Gary and Kim Newhook of St. John’s joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2009, and said his not-so-typical job has been the right choice for him.
“By joining the Forces, I thought I could contribute more. I wanted to serve my country,” he said in a recent news release from the Royal Canadian Navy.
“I get to use equipment that most people don’t get the chance to operate such as the Bofors 57mm gun and CIWS (close-in weapon system).”
Parsons-Coady is currently deployed on Operation ARTEMIS in the Arabian Sea region along with 261 other crew members. The mission is Canada’s contribution to maritime security and counter terrorism operations.
He said when he learned he may be deployed on that mission, he was eager to set sail.
“As soon as I heard we may be going, there was no doubt in my mind, I wanted to go,” Parsons-Coady said.
During his time abroad, he has become involved in the charity committee on board the ship and is always trying to find new ways to help back home. So he has decided to do his part for a charity drive for the Sick Kids Foundation of Toronto, which will see the crew attempt to run the cumulative distance from Kuwait to Toronto.
An avid music fan, he has shared that love with other crew members on the deployment. As another initiative to raise money for the Sick Kids Foundation, Parsons-Coady proposed waking up the crew each morning with music. He said music has made a deep impact on his life and he hoped it could help other members of the crew.
“People can request a song in exchange for a donation,” he said. “Music has influenced me so much and I thought it could help other people too.”
Parsons-Coady said there was another important influence on his life and credits that to his younger brother, Matthew.
“He’s a huge part of my life and has been there through my worst times.” said Parsons-Coady.
For more information about the From Kuwait to Toronto effort, visit: my.sickkidsdonations.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=3862692&LangPref=en-CA.