#1Sep 11th, 2011
56-year-old Debbie Dompierre became the oldest person to graduate from the military after becoming a reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces in August. The grandmother of four joined the military after having trouble finding work elsewhere.
Photograph by: Arnold Lim, Times Colonist
VICTORIA — A 56-year-old British Columbia grandmother has become the oldest reservist to graduate from basic training with the Canadian Forces, beating 20-somethings in the gruelling training process.
Debbie Dompierre, an accountant and bookkeeper, decided to join the military when she couldn't find a job after moving back to Victoria in 2008.
Her husband is in the Royal Canadian Navy and the family was posted back to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt after several years in Ottawa.
Dompierre, a mother of four with four grandchildren, had found age discrimination an issue in landing a full-time job in her profession.
She applied to the Canadian Forces in spring 2010 and waited it out, working at Walmart and beginning intensive weight training and long-distance running daily to get into shape. Dompierre passed the written tests, but was rejected after a physical revealed a hearing disability in her left ear.
"I wasn't taking no for an answer," she said.
the full story: Ten-hut, Grandma! B.C. woman makes reserves