Vimy Ridge holds special memories for Preeceville veteran, Scott Carroll.
PREECEVILLE – Scott Carroll of Preeceville grew-up in the small town of Lantz, N.S. and, like most children, had a normal upbringing but he felt something stronger: the call of duty for his country.
He joined the Cadet program when he was 15 years old and his passion grew stronger.
One year later, he joined the Canadian Army Reserves as an infantry soldier for two and a half years, where he did one tour at the Canadian Forces Station in Alert, an early warning station, as a labourer. For the three months he was there he worked on an upgrade of the power plant.
When he came back to Nova Scotia after his tour was over, he made the move to join the Regular Force, with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry.
“I discovered that the Army turned out not to be everything I thought it would be,” said Carroll. “At this point I had to re-think what I wanted to do with my life.”
He joined the Navy Reserves after the Army and served on the Her Majesty Canadian Ship (HMCS) Halifax, where he was a Boatswain looking after the guns and ammunition, and steering the warship.
In 2000, Carroll did a six-month tour with NATO on the HMCS Halifax touring all throughout Western Europe with port stops in Poland, Sweden, and Denmark.
“We served long hours and days over the six months, and we were also responsible for boarding suspicious pirate ships, and assisting vessels in distress at sea,” he said.
Carroll noted that regrettably there were times he turned to alcohol to relieve the pain of missing home and family, as he felt this would lift the burdens he carried.
In between the times at home, Scott found God and his wife, Chrystal, who he married in 2001. Then the world stopped when 9/11 happened. In light of the emergency, Carroll was tasked to assist stranded travellers in Halifax by setting up cots in a local hockey rink. Carroll was never deployed overseas. After that event he then boarded his ship back to action but this time his duty was redefined with the mission of mine sweeping the ocean floor.
“The mission was very dangerous as we used a tow rope with a sonar to give a picture of what was on the ocean floor. Security was huge and we never knew what to expect.” During this time there was an increase in the amount of time he was required to be away from home.
The mental anguish and frequent stints of being away from home spurred Carroll in late 2002 to switch trades to become an aviation technician in the Air Force where he achieved the rank of Corporal. In 2004, he had knee surgery, and it was not as successful as he wanted. He was therefore deemed not medically fit to be deployed, thus being medically released from active duty in 2006.
“I then went through a time of ‘Now what do I do with my life?’ as serving my country was the only thing I knew. I went through a depression state, and the mental and physical toll hit me hard,” Carroll reflected.
While serving in the Navy he became a Christian, following the ways of Jesus. In 2006, Carroll pursued his education in ministry at Briercrest College with the help of the military’s financial assistance for those medically released from service. He went on to obtain his Associate of Arts degree in Biblical Studies. From there he and his wife started a church, The Gathering Point Community Church, in his small, rural hometown in Nova Scotia. Carroll worked at multiple jobs to help support his family as the church’s pay was not enough to meet their financial needs.
After a turn of events, and a move to New Brunswick, he went back to school obtain his Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology in 2013. His family moved to Moose Jaw in 2015 where he was ordained in a Baptist Church in 2016. He left that church and two years later made the move to New Brunswick to plant another church with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, then COVID-19 happened, and Carroll’s life took another turn.
He decided to join the RCMP, which turned out to be a two-year process thanks to COVID. While awaiting a training date, the young family moved to Caronport to be closer to Regina where Scott would be training at Depot. In training, he received the devasting news that his young son required eye surgery in October 2021. Due to certain rules and regulations, the RCMP would not release him from base to attend his son’s surgery. He made the decision to voluntarily walk away, and from there he worked various jobs to make ends meet.
After meeting with a friend, he discovered the ministry opportunity in Preeceville at Evangel Church. At that point he had no desire to go back into ministry as the burnout rate was huge for pastors. Yet, with apprehension and hope, he applied for the position and was invited to preach at Evangel Church. As part of the interview process, he and his family immediately fell in love with the area.
“God has influenced my life in many ways. I would like to reach out to more people in need in the community through the church. I am open to everyone who wants or needs any help,” stated Carroll.
Carroll and his family are actively involved in the community through all sports, and he is the Referee-in-Chief for the Preeceville Minor Hockey Association.
When asked what the highlight of his military career was, Carroll indicated it was when he had the honour and privilege to share at a Remembrance Day Service at Vimy Ridge on Nov. 11, 2000.