A new memorial at Kingston's Royal Military College (RMC) marks the contribution of the light armoured vehicle known as the LAV III to Canada's military mission in Afghanistan and those who served there.

RMC's Class of 1980 donated the monument on the occasion of its 35th reunion, and DCC Kingston's Melissa Ethridge, Coordinator, Construction Services, managed the $80,000 project to build it. Construction began in mid-May 2019, once most of the students had left for the summer and wrapped up in mid-September.

The two-part monument features a plinth-mounted plaque and an engineless LAV III on a concrete pad enhanced to look as if the vehicle is rolling across the sands of Afghanistan.

"The alumni really wanted something that would stand out," says Ethridge, noting that the RMC campus features "all sorts of monuments." To achieve the look of the vehicle moving through blowing sand, the project team first tried etching the concrete pad but decided sandblasting produced the right effect.

Creating a tire print in the concrete "sand" involved sourcing used tires at a military auction and rigging them up on a large steel bar with handles. Four people (two on each end of the bar) pushed the tires into the concrete and then rolled them forward to make the effective visual.

The reaction to the monument, which was dedicated on Remembrance Day, has been very positive, Ethridge says. "The alumni loved it." When the contractor placed the LAV on the pad, the group held a barbecue for everyone, with a speech thanking them for their work. "It's really important to the alumni. You can see and feel it."

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