Serving District 3 and his Country: Vets of Steel's Drew Proudler

This story is part of a larger series introducing you to our Vets of Steel coordinators. Check out our news section for more.

Drew Proudler's path from the Canadian Army to a pivotal role as a union activist is a tale of unwavering dedication and service. As one of District 3’s Vets of Steel Coordinators, Proudler embodiesthe transition from military discipline to impactful leadership in civilian roles, spotlighting the unique skills and perspectives veterans bring to the labor movement.

Proudler's military career was characterized by diverse experiences and achievements that later laid a strong foundation for his advocacy work. Stationed in locations as challenging as Sarajevo, Bosnia, he navigated complex environments, which honed his adaptability and strategic thinking. 
Receiving decorations like the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal and Canadian Forces Decoration for 12 years of service, his service was about fulfilling duties and developing a strong sense of responsibility and a broadened worldview. 
These attributes later became crucial in his transition to a role advocating for veterans' rights. Proudler's journey into civilian life led him to a job in the Canadian oil patch before finding a career with the USW-represented Canadian telecommunication company TELUS. 
This transition reflects the multifaceted challenges and opportunities veterans often encounter when re-entering civilian careers. His eventual gravitation towards union activism was a natural extension of his desire to continue serving a community, this time focusing on his fellow veterans in the workforce. As the Vice Chairman at USW Local 1944 and as a Vets of Steel Coordinator, Proudler advocates for better workplace conditions and treatment for veterans. 
His role involves fostering a supportive community within the union, echoing the solidarityof military service. Despite facing initial challenges in engaging veterans to join and participate actively, his commitment to the cause is steadfast and inspiring.
“We’re just getting started,” Proudler said. For more information on the Veterans of Steel program, click here.

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