RAINDROPS OF HONOUR: REMEMBERING CORPORAL JONATHAN DUNSTER, A TRIBUTE OF CAMARADERIE AND RESPECT

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MCpl Teresa A. Romeo, CFS Leitrim, 5 Squadron Deployment Readiness Cell


On May 24, 2024, we laid to rest Corporal Jonathan Dunster, a cherished friend and colleague, in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. This date holds significant meaning for me, as it marks seven years since Cpl Dunster and I, along with two other members of the Bearer Party, graduated from our first trade course, DP1, together. We shared that milestone with pride and camaraderie, never imagining that those bonds would bring us together again under such solemn circumstances.

As Insignia Bearer, I felt an immense sense of pride and responsibility in honouring Jonathan, who had been my first roommate in Ottawa during our initial posting. The role required meticulous preparation, and every member of the Guard of Honour and Bearer Party practiced diligently. Our commitment was unwavering; each drill and rehearsal was performed with the utmost precision, ensuring that every detail would pay homage to our friend’s service and sacrifice.

Travelling to Plaster Rock added another layer of reflection and unity among us. The journey itself was a time of shared memories and mutual support, reinforcing our collective resolve to honour Jonathan with the highest degree of respect and dignity.

The day of the funeral was one of profound emotion. The service, meticulously planned, was beautiful in its solemnity. As the rain began to fall, coinciding with the poignant notes of the bugle playing “Last Post,” the atmosphere turned even more somber. The moment the casket was lifted off the hearse, the gravity of the occasion weighed heavily on all present. The rain felt like a collective shedding of tears from the heavens, a fitting tribute to the sorrow and respect we all felt for Jonathan.

During the ceremony, emotions ran high. The combination of the rain and the haunting sounds of the bagpipes playing “Flowers of the Forest” created an almost ethereal backdrop, deepening the sense of loss and the honour we sought to bestow upon our fallen comrade. As we moved through the rituals of the funeral, each step, each motion was a testament to our dedication to making Jonathan and his family proud, ensuring his final journey was marked by the most appropriate of military honours.

Following the ceremony, we gathered with friends and family to remember Jonathan. The stories shared painted a picture of a man who was funny, intelligent, and fiercely loyal. His presence had touched many lives, and the room was filled with both laughter and tears as we reminisced. It was clear that Jonathan’s impact extended far beyond his immediate circle, touching the hearts of all who knew him.

The messages of support from those unable to attend were a testament to Jonathan’s wide-reaching influence. These heartfelt notes of grief and solidarity provided comfort, reminding us that we were not alone in our sorrow. The collective grief was a stark reminder of the void left by his absence but also a celebration of the life he lived and the legacy he left behind.

As I reflect on the day, I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as the Insignia Bearer for my friend. It was an honour to contribute to a farewell that embodied the dignity and respect he deserved. In our preparation and execution of the ceremony, we sought to reflect the values Jonathan lived by and the deep connections he forged with his colleagues and loved ones.

In the end, our goal was simple: to make him proud and to ensure that his family and friends could take solace in the respect and honour with which we bid him farewell. As we move forward, the memories of our time together and the bonds we shared will continue to inspire and guide us. Corporal Jonathan Dunster’s legacy will live on in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him, and his memory will be a beacon of loyalty, intelligence, and camaraderie.

Cpl Jonathan Dunster

1978-2023

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Leah Legacey
1 month ago

Thank you to everyone who took part in my nephew Jonathan Dunster’s military service in Plaster Rock, NB the 24th of May, 2024. We can never say enough how thankful we are as Jonathan’s family for the support from day one to the present the military has provided to the family. May God bless each and everyone. We may not meet again on this earth, but you will always hold a special place in our hearts. Leah Legacey, Jonathan’s aunt.

Lisa Legacey
1 month ago

This is very touching….thank you so much for this beautiful write up and for everything you do and the kind words spoken about my nephew….love and hugs Aunt Lisa Legacey

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CWO Renay Groves
1 month ago

MCpl Romeo,
 
The bonds of a military family are forged in a shared sense of purpose, duty, and sacrifice. We rely on one another for strength, support, and comfort, both on and off the battlefield. It is within this tight-knit community that we find the resilience to face adversity and the courage to overcome even the most daunting challenges.
 
Master Corporal Romeo, your heartfelt article honoring the memory of Corporal Dunster is a testament to the power of our Branch Family. Your words have touched our hearts and reminded us that, even in times of sorrow, we are never alone.
 
Thank you for your tribute to our fallen comrade, Johnathan. May we continue to keep his memory alive by speaking his name and honouring his legacy. Lest We Forget.
 
CWO Renay Groves
BCWO