My name is Matthew Nilson, Im 33 years old, I was born and raised near Camrose, Alberta and my family and I still call Camrose my home. I have a loving wife and three young children that keep me on my toes and give me grey hairs. Im a current serving member of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment with the rank of Sergeant. I joined in 1997 and am about to start my 16th year in the reserves.
In that time I've had the honor of serving Canada in fighting the BC forest fires in 2003, the G8 summit in Kananaskis in 2002 and training the next generation of soldiers to carry on serving Canada. I also deployed five times in this time, I deployed to Bosnia in 2000 as part of the stabilization force there and again in 2002. I deployed to Bosnia and in 2004 as part of the European mission there.
I went to Afghanistan in 2008 and again in 2009. On September 23, 2008 I was working as safety staff on a confidence range near Kandahar Air field when the concrete barrier I was using for protection failed and I received shrapnel to my right foot splitting it open. I was medi-evacuated to the Role 3 hospital on Kandahar Air field for treatment. The damage required two emergency surgeries and 5 months recovery to gain most abilities to use my foot. I maintain several pieces of shrapnel still in my foot and deal with a mixture of numbness and pain in my foot. After my last tour I stepped back from deployments to concentrate on training and my family life. Since my injury I've pushed myself to not let my foot slow me down and prove to my troops, my kids and myself that any obstacle can be overcome.
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