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Have you ever decided to walk over 175km non-stop? Me neither, but that is exactly what the four-man team “Walk for the Wounded” has done. This walk took place on August 8-10, 2020. The four-man team all understand the impacts of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Occupational Stress Injuries (OSI) have on the individual and society. The purpose of this veteran organized walk is to raise money and awareness for Wounded Warrior Canada. This organization not only provides assistance to Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and first responders but to their families as well.
When asked about why Wounded Warriors was chosen as the beneficiary, Dylan Pace, one of the organizers, came to life. He stressed it was because Wounded Warriors Canada has proven to be an ethical organization and truly cares about the individuals which they are serving. Wounded Warriors Canada has several programs that are geared towards PTSD and OSI support for both the individual and the family. The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders defines PTSD as:
A complex disorder in which the affected person’s memory, emotional responses, intellectual processes, and nervous system have been disrupted by one or more traumatic experiences. It is sometimes summarized as a normal reaction to abnormal events.
According to the Journal of Community Safety & Well-Being “Estimates suggest that as many as 2.5 million adult Canadians and 70,000 Canadian first responders have suffered from PTSD in their lifetimes.” These numbers are staggering given the fact that PTSD has the potential to have lasting life-long impacts on both the individual and their families. The work being done by Wounded Warriors to provide support to these individuals and their families is invaluable.
The walk itself started at midnight on August 8th and completed at noon on August 10th. If the walk itself was not already hard enough, every hour the participants will be doing 22 push-ups. This will be done in honour of Project 22. It was created as a result of the discovery that 22 veterans in the USA lose their lives to suicide every day.
The walk commenced outside the Garrison Petawawa, traversed down Highway 17. Once they reached the 417, backs roads were taken as they made their way through Centre Town in Ottawa. As they made their way through the downtown core in Ottawa, the Walk for the Wounded was escorted by the Ottawa Police Service. It gave me chills just watching it and knowing that these four guys may potentially have a positive impact on the lives of these police officers through Wounded Warriors.
The walk concluded with the participants reaching the National War Memorial and completing their final 22 push-ups…in the pouring rain. Talk about grit! When asked why 175km and why Garrison Petawawa to Ottawa, Dylan said that is was just wild enough to get attention so that they could raise a significant amount of money for a worthy cause.
The fundraising goal was $22,000 and the team had already passed 50% of their fundraising goal in just eight days. At the conclusion of the walk, the participants raised nearly $35,000, surpassing their initial goal. Did you miss your chance to donate? There is still time! You can find the link to donate to this campaign here.
There are many messages that can be gleaned from this walk, one of the main ones is “don’t let friends struggle alone.” I will leave you with this quote from Walk for the Wounded:
Don’t let friends struggle alone. Among the military/first responder community, this is especially important. You go through things many won’t understand, except for each other. So check on your people. And be someone they actually feel they can come to. The mentality around the military of having to ‘suffer in silence’ is a great training mentality. No sense in complaining about how tired you are when there’s a job to do. It builds mental fortitude to push your body even when your mind says no. That is essential for the job. This does NOT apply to personal suffering. When it comes to that, suffer out loud. Talk about it, and allow your friends to talk about it. We want less names to be worn on our chests during these events. Check on each other. Don’t let anyone go through it alone, and that includes yourself.
You can check out Walk for the Wounded on their Facebook and Instagram pages for photos from their massive walk.
Sep 15, 2020
Anen to those guys. Way to go.
Great write up