My name is Craig Tourangeau. I am 45 years old. I was born October 22,1966 at the Civic Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. I am the middle child of three. All of my family still live in Ottawa and surrounding area. I attended JS Woodsworth HS in Nepean, On. I completed Grade 12 in 1984. I really enjoyed going to high school and especially enjoyed the team sports. I played Football for four years wining the city championship two years out of the four. I also did track and field every year as a sprinter, long jumper and pole vault.
The military had interested me as far back I as I could remember. At the age of 17, I joined the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa- Militia unit. I remained with the unit until March of 1985 when I transferred to the regular Forces specifically the PPCLI(Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry). I attended Cornwallis, NS for my basic training. Upon completion of basic I was sent to Wainwright, AB for my Infantry trade training. In the fall of 1985 I was posted to 3rd Battalion PPCLI in Victoria, BC. I remained there until July of 1986 where I was posted to 2 Commando, Canadian Airborne Regiment. In 1988 I was promoted to the rank of Master Corporal. I remained with 2 CDO until the summer of 1990 when I was posted back to 3 PPCLI. In 1992 I was given the opportunity to attend Selection for Joint Task Force 2. In June of that same year I attended Ottawa and completed Selection. Several months later upon learning I was successful at Selection I returned to Ottawa and completed all training. In the fall of 1992 I was posted to the newly created unit of JTF2 at the rank of Sergeant . I remained with the unit until the fall of 1995.
In June 1994 I was on operational deployment in support of the Commonwealth Games which was being held in the Victoria, BC area. On June 9th I was part of a work up training exercise north of Victoria. It was that morning where I sustained a serious injury. A faulty diversion device (flash bang) exploded in my left hand. My hand was severely damaged and was amputated at the wrist. I also received a broken left elbow in the same incident. I returned to the Military Hospital in Ottawa and remained hospitalized for two months.
In the fall of 1995 I left the military for a teaching position at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, ON. I remained there until the fall of 1996 when I became a member of the Toronto Police Service. I am in my 16th year and currently a member of the K9 unit.
By participating in this expedition I hope to show that injured/disabled veterans can accomplish great goals in life despite serious physical injuries through perseverance. I believe that by having a strong mindset and internal strengths you can achieve anything that you try. I believe this has been critical to my success in what I have achieved since my injury. I also am very proud to be part of a group of veterans that will be giving back by continuing to raise funds and awareness as part of The True Patriot Love Foundation.
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