In just two weeks the dedicated Wounded Warriors will begin their third annual 600 km run down Vancouver Island.
From February 22-28 a team of six runners, all veterans or serving members of the Canadian Forces, will relay run the entire length of the Island from Port Hardy to Victoria.
The group is raising money and awareness of service related injures like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They will stop along the way to talk about their experiences and connect with other veterans and supporters at most of the legions along the way including Bowser, Qualicum Beach and Parksville on Friday, February 26.
“The whole point is to raise awareness about PTSD and its prevalence in first-response work,” co-founder Allan Kobayashi, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces said previously, mentioning his own battle with post-traumatic stress disorder.
He said he nearly lost his family due to the debilitating mental illness, and he is thankful for the help of PTSD-related programs, pointing out that it can be very lonely and crippling.
“PTSD and other operational stress injuries may not be outwardly visible but they have taken a terrible toll on veterans of all ages,” said a news release.
This B.C. branch of the national run raised $40,000 for Wounded Warriors Canada last year and hopes to top that this year.
Along with the fundraising, organizers say it is just as important to get the message out that there is help available.
This year’s team was officially launched
Feb. 5 in Victoria and there is a lot of good information — including a live run tracker once they get going — at www.woundedwarriorrunbc.com and on their Facebook page.