Wounded Warrior Canada team runner, Mike Bowen, runs into Ladysmith, last Saturday, accompanied by Warrior support team member Susan Marcotte, along with Sarge a member of the PSTD service dog program. (Photo courtesy www.johnsphotography.ca)

Wounded Warrior Canada team runner, Mike Bowen, runs into Ladysmith, last Saturday, accompanied by Warrior support team member Susan Marcotte, along with Sarge a member of the PSTD service dog program. (Photo courtesy www.johnsphotography.ca)

Wounded Warrior runners pass through Ladysmith

Legion presents $1,590 to the organization

By Duck Paterson

Last Saturday marked the second to last day of a gruelling run down Vancouver Island for members of the Wounded Warriors of Canada. Comprised of Canadian Forces Veterans, as well as various emergency responders members, Wounded Warriors volunteers started their run in Port Hardy a week ago and covered 800 km on the island in seven days.

Wounded Warriors Canada is a recognized charitable organization its goals are to support and honour Canada’s sick and injured armed forces members, veterans and first responders and their families. The organization has over 2,000 clients it provides service to, including mental health programs and assistance.

The Ladysmith leg of the run ended at the Branch 171 Legion with a reception and luncheon hosted by the local Legion members. Wounded Warriors Canada organizer Jacqueline Zweng thanked the Legion and community for the support.

“Funds raised for Wounded Warriors Canada go towards couples assistance for post-traumatic stress (PTSD), service animals and workplace trauma resiliency training,” said Steve Topham, national partnership director for Wounded Warriors.

During the luncheon, Mayor Aaron Stone welcomed the runners, escorts and organizers to Ladysmith and commended them all on their dedication to those who are suffering mental health stress, especially during the past couple years of the pandemic. He noted how tough it would be to cope with a person’s own personal trauma and deal with everything that is going on in today’s world.

Ladysmith Legion President Darlene Paulson welcomed the Warriors and thanked them for their service to those in need. She also stressed that the local legion “is also open at any time for vets or others suffering from PTSD or other issues and we have people willing to help.” Paulson, on behalf of the Branch 171 Legion, presented the Warriors with a check for $1,590.50. As well as the Legion making a donation to the Wounded Warriors, while they were in Ladysmith, the Ladysmith Lions Club gave a $500 check. Members from the Cedar Lions Club were also present to make a donation of $1,000.

The Wounded Warriors Island Run ended on March 6 in Victoria. The total amount raised, to that point, was $165,000.

“Over its lifetime, Wounded Warriors Canada has raised over $25 billion, equating to 330,000 clinical hours for its veteran and first responder clients,” Zweng said.

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