St. Mary’s graduate Buddy Wickramasinghe readies for deployment with the Canadian Armed Forces

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Coming out of high school Buddy Wickramasinghe wanted something different, a new direction in life that would allow him to pursue his own dreams and not those of his parents. This search for direction and discipline led Buddy to enlist in the Reserve Force of the Canadian Armed Forces, a decision that would allow Buddy time to enjoy military life while affording him time to pursue a degree.

For Buddy, a Liberal Arts degree graduate with a focus in psychology, the skills he learned both at school and during military training helped him to excel in both fields.

“School and military experience almost complemented each other,” explained Buddy. “I applied the skills I learned in the military to my classes and the practical skills I learned in my courses such as psychology, sociology and management classes, were all able to feed into my military experience.”

These practical skills and teaching methods at St. Mary’s have proven beneficial in both military and civilian life.

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“In terms of course material – my psychology, sociology and management classes, those I found were the most practical classes I’ve ever taken, especially the way they were taught at St. Mary’s,” said Buddy. “They were applied to real life scenarios and with those skills I was able to apply them, even to this day, I’m able to apply those perspectives and see the bigger picture.”

“Especially in the military where people share various opinions on certain things, it helps me understand them more and get along with them easier.”

Buddy will not be able to walk the stage with his fellow graduates, as he is being deployed overseas with the Canadian Armed Forces for a NATO mission in Poland, and the reality of his chosen profession has started to sink in.

“Putting on this uniform is not something that everyone does, or that everyone is called to do,” said Buddy. “For the last five and a half years I’ve been going to school, waking up going to classes and seeing my friends, now I have to do this job, away from my family for six months, in a country where they don’t speak the same language and have different beliefs.”

“Coming from school where everything was happy and almost worry free, to the reality of the job I chose is sinking in.”

Not everyone is called to serve their country, but for those who chose to make the sacrifice for others to be able to live the lives they do in peace, a simple thank you could never be enough. St. Mary’s would like to thank Buddy and all of the members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their service and wish Buddy a safe and successful mission while deployed overseas.