Veterans group heads to Nipawin for weekend of fun and healing
More than 100 war veterans are en route to Nipawin Thursday evening to take part in the first ever Wounded Warrior weekend. The event is meant to help veterans and their families cope with the traumatic effects of war.
They've been on the front lines of some of the fiercest and bloodiest battles of the 21'st century, and have returned home with both physical and mental wounds.
Glen Coyle, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, says his tour was hard. “It was a six month tour, during 06-07. Operation Medusa. It was a tough tour and a lot of our guys weren't the same coming home.”
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. The disorder has long been misunderstood, and misdiagnosed.
That’s why this weekend’s events are designed to help these soldiers. Wayne Johnston, with Wounded Warriors Canada, says the goal of the weekend is to help these men and women share their experiences.
“We are bringing together 128 wounded warriors, 20 from the states and the rest from Canada, with a focus on mental health.”
The American soldiers come primarily from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some of the Canadian veterans date back to the 1990's, and the peacekeeping duties in the war ravaged areas of Bosnia and Kosovo.
About 100 people turned up at the airport to greet the veterans before they leave for a weekend of camaraderie and healing.