Sergeant Leslie Blair
Sergeant Leslie Blair is an Aviation Systems Technician in the Royal Canadian Air Force and the most recent recipient of the Captain Nichola Goddard Award. She shares with us how setting big goals has motivated her and how being recognized for her work in the military and for her philanthropic efforts changed her life.
A 13-year veteran in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Sergeant Blair has lived in various locations across Canada, coast to coast, and has been posted to both Trenton and Shearwater. Sergeant Blair has deployed on operations in Camp Mirage and Afghanistan.
Sergeant (Sgt) Blair was born in North Bay, Ontario and grew up in a military family, which gave her the opportunity to travel and see many parts of Canada and the world. Shortly after graduating from high school, she joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as an Aviation Systems Technician (AVN Tech) in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
Her first posting was to 8 Wing Trenton with 8 Air Maintenance Squadron as a Propulsion Specialist on the CC130 Hercules aircraft. One year later, Sgt Blair deployed with the Tactical Airlift Unit to both Camp Mirage and Afghanistan for three rotations totaling seven months.
In 2011, she was moved to 424 Squadron Search and Rescue and had the privilege of participating in many domestic exercises.
In 2012, while at 424 Squadron and as a member of the Camp Trillium committee, Sgt Blair started the 8 Wing Herc Pull which raised nearly $4000 for children with cancer, for which the team received a Wing Commander’s Commendation. The following year, in an effort to grow the Herc Pull, the team decided to support the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC). As the Herc Pull OPI and overall GCWCC Event Coordinator, her efforts largely contributed to the total donation of $140,000 in support of the GCWCC, for which she received her own Wing Commander`s Commendation.
In November of 2016, she set her sights on helping veterans that haven’t transitioned well to civilian life. Santa for Nova Scotia Veterans was launched to bring Christmas joy to veterans in need or alone over the holiday season. With 32 emotional deliveries to veterans completed just in time for the Christmas holidays, this project was by far the most humbling and eye-opening experience she has had the privilege to lead. Now, in its fourth year, renamed Santa for Veterans, the project reaches coast to coast, last year sending out numerous packages to veterans and delivering knit socks to veteran hospitals.
In 2014, she was posted to 12 Wing Shearwater to work on the Cyclone Helicopter. She is currently a member of 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron and resides in Nova Scotia with her husband.