Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Invictus Games

The following are excerpts from the writing of John Perron
in Harrowmith's 2017 Almanac:

If you want to see some truly tough competitors in 2017,
look no further than Toronto which will host
The Invictus Games in September.”

More than 600 athletes from 16 countries will be competing in a dozen sports.
These wounded warriors ~ soldiers and veterans who have become ill or injured
in combat zones...are discovering new ways to overcome their physical
and psychological wounds by taking on new challenges in competitive sports.

2017 is a year steeped in rich Canadian military history...marking the anniversaries of historic battles that shaped and defined the nations,” Prince Henry said in a video announcing the event. “It is also the year that Canada will commemorate its 150th anniversary of Confederation. I cannot think of a better way to mark this milestone than by paying tribute to the soldiers and veterans who have served their country bravely...and to support them along their journey to recovery.”
Prince Harry, who served in the British army in Afghanistan,
founded the Invictus Games in 2013 after attending the 'Warrior Games'
(a competition for ill and injured American armed forces men and women.)
INVICTUS is Latin for 'Unconquered'.

I know first hand, how difficult it can be to struggle with physical and mental-health issues that are related to the services you have given to your country,” said Bruno Guevremont, Captain of Team Canada 2016. “Competing in the 'Invictus Games' on home soil will provide me and my fellow military competitors with the pride and confidence needed to push our minds and bodies beyond what we thought was possible ~ to represent our country, shoulder to shoulder, as we once did.”

The event will be making use of the facilities established for the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Eleven Canadians took part in the inaugural Invictus Games in London in 2014...garnering 2 silver medals: in archery and swimming. About 100 Canuck soldiers and veterans are expected to participate in the 2017 Invictus Games. The lead-up to the Games will include a national torch relay that will visit all 32 Canadian Armed Forces bases...from Esquimalt in the West...to Alert in the Far North...to Gagetown in the East.
Photo shown in Almanac are of 2 wheel-chair basketball competitors.

* * * * * * * * * *
What Happens After Our Canadian Troops Come Home?

Veterans Transition Network (VTN) is to make sure no Canadian Veteran is left suffering or isolated.
Focus on Transition Courses:
CAREER...planning and achieving personally meaningful careers
FAMILY...reconnecting and building understanding with loved ones
PTSD...understanding its effect and how to deal with 'operational stress
RESOURCES...learning how to access available services
What Can We Do?
  • Donate your unused Aeroplan miles can help veterans to go from 'SURVIVING to THRIVING.' Turn your Miles into Military Miles.
  • Make a one-time donation to Military sufferers with PTSD, giving veterans and families to get the tools to help them cope with living with PTSD.
  • The Royal Canadian Legion, as you know, is an organization that supports Canada's veterans. The key focus of the work we do is to honour and support our veterans...we also are a grassroots organization with volunteers offering community-based activities that help build a stronger Canada from coast to coast.
  • Legionnaires contribute millions of volunteer hours each year ~ best known for distributing 'Poppies' during the Remembrance Day period...raising money for veterans and their families and above all, ensuring that Canadians Never Forget. They also volunteer in their branches providing programs and services for veterans, seniors and families in need...they provide youth education and leadership programs...hold branch fundraisers (to name a few).
The Toronto Star reported in 2010 that about 1500 Canadian men and women have been wounded...many disabled and traumatized, now find themselves battling their own government for money... for a job... and for honour.
Investigative Reports in August 2016, stated that 54 Canadian soldiers
died by suicide in the Afghanistan mission.
Rigours of war leave troops battling arthritis at a young age, Sgt. Thomas Wenzke said that after his one-year deployment in 2006, he has suffered from a herniated disc and degenerative arthritis in his spine...for which there is no cure. He is 29 years old.
Degenerative Arthritis is all too common among troops.
Within a 10-year span, military doctors diagnosed 108,266 cases
of degenerative arthritis or osteo-arthritis.

Words from Military Personnel

Soldiers usually win the battles and the generals get the credit for them.
(Napoleon Bonaparte)

Douglas Macarthur stated, “The soldier above all others
prays for piece...for it is the soldier who must suffer
and bear the deepest wounds and scars of wars.”

A professional soldier understands that war means killing people;
war means maiming people, war means family life without fathers and mothers.
(Norman Schwarzkof)

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...May 26, 2017

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