I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario and I am 28 years old. I enjoy many different sports and hobbies. There are almost too many to list. I am an accomplished long distance runner and in my youth I enjoyed baseball, rugby and lacrosse. My favorite team is the Toronto Blue Jays. Have to support the home team! I also enjoy studying history and music. I was classically trained on the violin for many years, although I have not picked one up in quite some time. I also enjoy studying history. I do believe that if we don't learn from our past we are doomed to repeat it.
I joined the Army on March 17, 2005 with the intent to serve overseas in Afghanistan. I wanted to serve my country overseas like my grandfather before me. I wanted to wear my countries uniform and be able to say I was part of that. I am a Corporal with the Royal Regiment of Canada based in Toronto, ON. I served with Task Force Afghanistan 3-08, landing boots on the ground September 3, 2008. During my time in the country, I took part in numerous operations and ran over 80 combat logistic patrols. Memorable ones for me were my first time outside the wire, the patrol was IEDd on the way to a Forward Operating Base. Luckily no one was hurt.
Of course the patrol that I can't remember, but the one that changed my life the most, was the one I was wounded on when my vehicle was involved in a rollover. That occurred on March 4, 2009. I dislocated my left leg, injured my pelvis, crushed my left hand, had injuries to ribs and had bleeding in my brain. To top it all off, I bruised 80% of my frontal lobe thats the part that makes you, YOU. Recovery was painful but I took my rehabilitation on aggressively. I was intent on not letting the injury sideline me and 6 months later, I was selected and fought with a team in a Jiu Jitsu Tournament. I lost the tournament, but to be able to stand there with my team after going through it all was an accomplishment I am proud of.
The reason I want to take part in the True Patriot Love Expedition to Nepal is simple. I want to show the public and more importantly other wounded veterans, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how badly bashed up you are, you can always recover and continue your life. Everyday is a challenge but you have to accept that challenge and get over it. My war with the Taliban ended that day in March but my war with my injuries just began and its a war I continue to fight. If I can even reach out to one person through this experience, then its another victory and worth it to me. I am here to raise that awareness and hopefully the funds to continue programs so we can accomplish the goal of helping those soldiers in need. True Patriot Love is an excellent foundation for this goal and I am honored to be a part of it. For myself, since the beginning of this journey with the True Patriot Love Foundation, one quote has been with me and I believe it sums up in a nutshell the whole project, with the team being the first to do this in Canada and representing veterans everywhere. It was from a man named Ralph Waldo Emerson and it goes; Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
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