By Cheryl Brown
(ISN) – The 2015 *Wounded Warriors Run media launch was held today in the Showroom of major sponsor Saunders Subaru.
When arrived I expected to see a small gathering of people and some local media, gathering information on this years run. Was I ever wrong. The bright and shiny latest and greatest Subaru’s had been replaced by an army field ambulance and another military vehicle. Members of the Langford Legion were dressed in uniform, standing at attention and forming a pathway for this year’s runners to run through when they were introduced. Saanich South MLA Lana Popham ,many members of the military community dressed in camouflage, sponsors, several media outlets, event co coordinators and members of the general public joined the Saunders family in kick starting this important campaign.
What really grabbed my attention was a painting on display. It was created by Sparky of Urge Tattoo’s and depicts a soldier carrying an injured soldier over his shoulder. You can clearly see that the soldier being carried is injured but it is the invisible injury the rescuing soldier is suffering that the The Wounded Warriors Run is all about.
The Emcee 100.3- Q 100’s Cliff LesQuesne reminded us that while everyone is running away from a crime, disaster or trying to escape the fighting in Iraq it is our police officers, first responders and soldiers that are heading directly into the danger. Years ago it was believed that it was a sign of weakness to be impacted by the experiences you had , the tragedies witnessed and the images that remained vividly in your head. You were not encouraged to speak out and people would suffer from Post –Traumatic Stress Disorder in silence. A gentleman that I met at the event shared with me that his brother had suffered from PSTD, did not seek help and as a result drank himself to death. The Goal of the Wounded Warriors run is to draw attention to PSTD and create an environment where it okay to talk about it so we do not have to deal with a tragedy caused by an untreated case of PSTD.
Serious Coffee’s 24 café’s on the island are sponsoring this event and Jeanette Humphries who is charge of events for Serious Coffee spoke about the importance of being pro active with PSTD so that no one has to fall through the gap anymore. You can donate to this event and the Wounded Warrior Fund at the Serious Coffee in your neighborhood, Chris Linford the National Ambassador for the Wounded Warriors shared with the crowd that he has had PSTD for 20 years and as a result of seeking support for his invisible injury through programs run through the Canadian Health Services and C.O.P.E which involves the spouse of the person suffering from PSTD that he is a survivor and his relationship with his wife is intact. Last years run caused a spark I the community but this year run is creating a blazing fire.
Starting on Sunday February 15th Six Runners will run a relay the length of Vancouver Island. They will cover 100 km per day starting in Port Hardy and finish in Colwood at Saunders Subaru on February 20th. Please give generously the runners as they collect donations on their way down the island. It is important that we as a community help take care of the people that every single take care of us. You can donate online at www.woundedwarriours .ca
*Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that helps Canadian Armed Forces members – be they regular force or reservists – who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada. Through a wide range of programs and services, we help find solutions where gaps have left our veterans and their families in need. Currently, our primary focus is on mental health and, particularly, the staggering impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, perpetrated by Operational Stress Injuries. Overall, however, our mandate is to help any Veteran in need as they transition to civilian life.
If you are feeling like a new or even your first tattoo contact Urge Tattoo’s www.urgetatoos.com to find out more information about their tattoo fundraiser on Sunday February the 8th where you can get yourself a tattoo for a minimum $60 suggested donation. Participants will also be on location that day so please go down and say hello.