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Lt. Col. David Allan Quick, BESc'83

david alan quick
Canadian Forces Officer

Lt. Col. David Allan Quick is confident he will return safe and sound from his tour of duty in Afghanistan, despite the inherent risks involved.

But before departing for Kabul from his home in Kanata (part of Ottawa) last December, a commitment he made to support Western students was among the important affairs he wanted to ensure were in order.

In 2006, the Canadian Forces officer established an endowed award through Foundation Western for students with financial need in the Faculty of Engineering. Though he still had another year to fulfill his pledge, he made provisions to ensure the student award would be fully funded just in case the worst should happen.

“When preparing for deployment to Afghanistan, the military makes you consider everything in the event that you do not come back,” says Quick. “You need to have all of your affairs in order. This is important so you are not distracted while away."

Quick will be in Kabul until June 2010, where he is responsible for a group of soldiers and civilians who meld military intelligence with national governance and development, producing knowledge and situational awareness so commanders can make informed decisions.

”You have a better chance of winning the lottery than being killed over there,” says Quick, despite dangers that include rocket attacks while on the base, and roadside bombs and suicide bombers while on the road in an armoured car.

When he’s “outside the wire,” Quick wears body armour, a helmet and protective clothing to protect himself, not to mention the rifle and pistol he carries. He adds there are three key rules to coming home alive: do not become a battlefield tourist; always be aware of your surroundings; and when your Spider Sense tingles, listen to it.

The first recipient of Quick’s student award will be named in the fall of 2010, after he returns home from Kabul. His motivation for creating the award is to “help those students who fall through the cracks,” he says. “Students who are under pressure academically and who need a financial helping hand, but do not qualify for government support. A student just like I was.”

Quick says while he enjoyed his time at Western, he couldn’t take advantage of all the extracurricular activities because of his school workload and part-time job with the Primary Reserves of the Canadian Forces. However, he notes that Western is where he refined his personality and this ethos.

“I left Western a better person than when I arrived,” he says. “Taking what I learned from my whole Western experience, I have been given positions of responsibility and have been promoted for my knowledge, skills and performance.”

Since graduating, Quick has held military command and engineering posts throughout Canada and around the world. He responded during the Manitoba Floods and Quebec Ice Storm, he also been on operations in Germany, Denmark, Uganda, and now Afghanistan.

While Quick has donated to Western since graduating, it wasn’t until more recently that he realized the Faculty of Engineering could use his contributions in a more productive way. This is why he chose to increase his giving amount and put it towards supporting students.

“When I attended Western, at first I did not understand what was funded by my tuition and what was funded through alumni support. Now I understand that a university is only as strong as its alumni; those who give to make it one of the top universities both academically and socially. I appreciate what the alumni of my time did while I was a student at Western and now, as an alumnus, I am there to carry on in their stead.


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