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She's the recipient of an annual award for personnel assigned to NORAD
Warrant Officer Danette Weyh doesn’t come from a military background. It wasn’t until she was in her 30s, working at the hospital in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, that the idea of joining the military even occurred to her.
“A friend of ours mentioned that the recruiting personnel was going to be in Goose Bay,” Weyh said. “I was a little hesitant because I was a mother of three at the time.”
Despite her hesitation, she checked it out. Weyh hasn’t looked back since.
“I’ve had the opportunity to travel, meet all different kinds of people… and I just love people,” she said.
“My door is always open, and it would be the first three people that walked in. I think everyone has something to offer… I’m pretty sure I would have something to learn from each of those three.” — Danette Weyh on three people she’d like to invite to a dinner party
Recently, Weyh was given the NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Award, an annual honour which was established to recognize military personnel for outstanding accomplishments throughout the year.
“It applies to all American and Canadian personnel assigned to NORAD and USNORTHCOM (U.S. Northern Command),” she said.
According to the NORAD website, the personnel are “charged with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America."
Similarly, USNORTHCOM was established in 2002 and “conducts security cooperation activities with allies and partners, and supports civil authorities,” with their areas of responsibility being “air, land and sea approaches ... (encompassing) the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the surrounding water out to approximately 500 nautical miles.”
Weyh says she was humbled to receive the award.
“And I was very proud to be able to represent Canada,” she said.
1. What is your full name?
Danette Marlene Weyh.
2. Where and when were you born?
Mary’s Harbour (on the) south coast of Labrador in 1973,
3. Where do you live today?
North Bay, Ont.
4. What’s your favourite place in the world?
If I had to narrow it down, it’s my mom’s hometown community… a little place called Williams Harbour in Labrador. So many members of her family live there right on the ocean and (it has) that really small community feel.
5. Who do you follow on social media?
I’m not a big social media person. (On) Facebook, I do follow family and friends. Being away from home, especially meeting so many new people, it’s the best way to keep up with them. I like seeing the pictures and all the kids growing up and all the special events that I miss out on.
6. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I grew up near water, but I cannot swim. I have a big fear of water.
7. What’s been your favourite year and why?
Other than the three years that my children were born, I’d have to say 2007. I had the opportunity to do the Nijmegen March in the Netherlands. It’s an international four-day march.
It’s definitely a challenge on your mental and physical endurance.
8. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
(The Nijmegen March) would be it. I have to say it was one of the most rewarding and probably one of the hardest (of my experiences).
9. Can you describe one experience that changed your life?
If I had to pick one, I’d say marrying my husband. He is one of my greatest supporters. He’s been there throughout my entire career and he’s always supported me.
10. What’s your greatest indulgence?
Chocolate. I’m an “any kind of chocolate” person, I’m not going to lie.
11. What is your favourite movie or book?
My favourite book is “A Child Called It” (by Dave Pelzer). It’s a book that somebody gave to me and it has to do with the hardships of his childhood. It’s about his perseverance. That one really touched me. It’s a hard read at first, but then you see how he perseveres and it’s just really touching.
12. How do you like to relax?
I love working out. It’s the thing that my youngest son does as well, and my older son, who isn’t here. But that’s our time to take some time for us. I love working out… and spending time with my family.
13. What are you reading or watching right now?
I’m not a big TV person per se, but I do like having the TV on for the noise. I did record “Pretty in Pink” because I love that movie. Whatever my husband has on or the children, it’s pretty much for background noise. But I will watch documentaries. Anything to do with history.
14. What is your greatest fear?
Public speaking. Maybe besides water, that probably would be the biggest one. It all depends on the audience I guess and what it entails.
15. How would you describe your personal fashion statement?
Comfortable and relaxed. When I’m home, I love to be in sweatpants, and I love to feel relaxed. There’s nothing better than feeling relaxed when you come home.
16. What is your most treasured possession?
A bible that was given to me from my mom that belonged to her parents.
17. What physical or personality trait are you most grateful to a parent for?
I’d have to say my work ethic. My work ethic and caring for people. I’d have to say (that is from) both (of my parents).
18. What three people would join you for your dream dinner party?
My door is always open, and it would be the first three people that walked in. I think everyone has something to offer. No matter who you are, you always have something different to offer. I’m pretty sure I would have something to learn from each of those three.
19. What is your best quality, and what is your worst quality?
My best quality (is) I care about people. I’d say (I'm) big-hearted. And my worst quality (is) I’m very independent and kind of stubborn sometimes. I like to think on my own, so I’m not sure if that’s my worst quality or a bit of both.
20. What’s your biggest regret?
I always think whatever has happened has happened for a reason. There’s always something to learn from everything you do. Maybe, if I think about it, my biggest regret, (is) perhaps that I didn’t join the military earlier. But I’m not sure I would have had the experiences that helped me along the way.
Andrew Waterman reports on East Coast culture.