British Colombia Canadian Ranger receives international accolades for good deed

20210208-BC Coy-PouceCoupe-GaryBath2
Pictured from left are Beaver Creek RCMP Corporal Robert Drapeau, Canadian Ranger Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Staff Sergeant Tim Marchessault near the Canada-U.S. border crossing in November 2020. Bath, who lives in Fort St. John and is a member of the Pouce Coupe Canadian Ranger Patrol, drove Lynn Marchessault and her children two and a half days from Pink Mountain, British Columbia, to Beaver Creek, Yukon, so they could be reunited with Tim. Photo: Submitted

Canadian Ranger Lindsay Chung, 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group

Canadian Ranger (CR) Gary Bath of Fort St. John, who is a member of the Pouce Coupe Canadian Ranger Patrol in northern British Columbia, has found himself doing countless television, radio and newspaper interviews for national and international media outlets in the past few months.
In November, CR Bath helped reunite a military family from the United States in time for the holiday season by driving Lynn Marchessault and her two children more than 1,600 kilometres after they were caught in a snowstorm, and people in Canada, the U.S. and even Europe have grabbed onto the story of CR Bath’s generosity and willingness to jump in and help others.

CR Bath is back in the news this month, as the American nut company Planters found out about his good deed and is honouring him and the Marchessaults.

This year, instead of spending $5 million on a Super Bowl commercial, the company decided to highlight stories of people who went “a nut above” to help others and is spending that money on them and the initiatives they support. Planters is giving both the CR Bath and Marchessault families a new car and a lifetime supply of nuts.

CR Bath says he was surprised and “extremely happy” when he heard from Planters.

“They sent us a message through Facebook Messenger, and the note started off with ‘this may sound crazy, but it’s the truth. Keep reading,’” he said. “They read our story and wanted to give us a gift.”

CR Bath has been amazed by all the media attention the story has received
“It’s been quite crazy and very busy with all the phone calls and interviews,” he said. “When we first did it, I just figured that a few friends on Facebook would see it, and that’s as far as it would go. To see that it is going around the world pretty much for the second time, it’s just very shocking.”

In December, Major-General Peter B. Andrysiak Jr., the Commanding Officer of United States Army Alaska, sent CR Bath a large medallion and a letter of thanks, expressing gratitude and admiration for CR Baths’ character and integrity.

Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist W. Brett Wilson has offered an all-expenses-paid vacation in the Yukon for CR Bath and his family.
CR Bath thinks the whole draw of the story is that people are happy to hear good news.

“I appreciate everyone saying congratulations and good job and thanks for being nice and stuff like that,” he said.

Since the drive, CR Bath has stayed in contact with Lynn Marchessault, and they speak online every day.

The famous drive

Lynn Marchessault was driving with her two children from Georgia to Alaska in mid-November to reunite with her husband Staff Sergeant Tim Marchessault, who is stationed with the United States Army at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. Several days into their trip, they were caught in a snow storm in northern B.C.

The power of social media was a positive in this instance, as it connected several players in the military community who were able to ensure the family was reunited.

“Teena Sew first ran into Lynn and helped her out,” said CR Bath. “When they got to Pink Mountain, Lynn said she couldn’t drive any further, so Teena put a call out on Facebook, and then Tanya Hunt saw her post, so she shared it, and Joe Elliott saw Tanya’s post and re-shared it, and I saw Joe’s post. Seeing Joe’s post, I saw people’s comments of how they wished they could help or they’d like to donate money to help and nobody really saying they could drive all the way, so I just talked to my wife, and she said ‘what are you still doing here?’”

CR Bath drove Lynn, her two children, two dogs and a cat in a pickup truck pulling a U-Haul trailer more than 1,600 kilometres from Pink Mountain, B.C., to the Yukon-Alaska border near Beaver Creek, Yukon. The drive took two and a half days.

When CR Bath found out about Lynn Marchessault’s predicament, it didn’t take him long to spring into action.

“For me, it was really easy,” he said. “I didn’t really think much about how long it would take or anything like that. I didn’t even think about how I was going to get home because I knew I had Joe [Elliott], and my local MLA, Don Davies, was trying to find me a ride, so I just left everything in their hands. There are a few people who had donated money for a plane ticket for me to get home, so we really only had to figure out how I was going to get from Beaver Creek back to Whitehorse.”

On the return journey, CR Bath received a ride from an RCMP officer from the U.S. border to Beaver Creek, then a local mechanic gave him a ride to Whitehorse. He spent the night in Whitehorse and caught a flight home the next day.

Service comes naturally to CR Bath

CR Bath has been a member with the Pouce Coupe CRP for almost three years.

“One of my friends was in the Canadian Rangers, and he told me what they do, and it sounded interesting,” he said. “I went down and went to a patrol meeting one night, and they said it was fun and every now and then, they get to go out and help people, and I said, ‘that sounds like something I would like to do.’”

Although much of the training has been paused due to COVID-19 and public health orders, CR Bath did complete the Canadian Ranger Basic Military Indoctrination and met many Rangers and Canadian Ranger Instructors. He has enjoyed meeting new people and learning new things.

Before joining 4 CRPG, CR Bath served as a member of the Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC) in Fort St. John and with the Cadet Corps in Ontario. He served with the CIC for five years.

Canadian Ranger Gary Bath
Canadian Ranger Gary Bath of the Pouce Coupe Canadian Ranger Patrol, pictured here during his Canadian Ranger Basic Military Indoctrination training at CFB Albert Head, has been a Canadian Ranger for nearly three years. He previously served with the Cadet Instructors Cadre in Fort St. John and the Cadet Corps in Ontario. Photo: Submitted
20210208-BC Coy-PouceCoupe-GaryBath1
From left to right, Selena and Gary Bath bring winter coats to Lynn Marchessault in Pink Mountain, British Columbia, in November 2020. From there, Gary Bath, a Canadian Ranger who lives in Fort St. John, drove Marchessault, her children and her pets more than 1,600 kilometres to the Yukon-Alaska border so she could reunite with her husband, a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant stationed at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo: Submitted