Sgt. Matthew Watson, of the 116th Independent Field Battery out of Kenora, is on the trip of a lifetime. He's in Italy to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of Operation Husky, the Allied invasion and liberation of Sicily during WW2.
"Everybody is aware of the Normandy and D-Day invasions. The Italy invasions, which preceded them by almost a year, have kind of fallen by the way side. It's an attempt to bring back a huge part of Canada's history, in the European liberation of WW2," he said.
He's also getting the opportunity to retrace the steps of his maternal grandfather Charles "Jack" Stevens.
"It's an interesting adventure to get to go on a guided tour through the battlefields for Italy. As well as , it was my grandfather's campaign. It kind of brings home a little more of what my grandpa went through. Seeing the ground on which he would have fought and lived and had day to day life in for two years of his life," he explained.
Watson is also one of several soldiers taking part in the dedication of a memorial for fallen artillery gunners who died in Sicily and Italy during the war.