A Soldier's Perspective: Carl Keenan


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The one thing that amazes me about these lovely villages is that there are very few police. I saw one police man in Namche Bazaar and he sat sipping tea in the sun with this big smile on his face. I think that something has gone wrong with our society when we can't do the same.

I'm a constable with the Ottawa police and I see a lot of crazy things. I spend a lot of my free time cycling in the woods, but as part of the Emergency Services Unit, I quite often do search and rescue in the same woods for potential suicides. It amazes me to think that in such a beautiful place, one person can come to find peace and another to end their lives.

I did one tour of Afghanistan with six friends, which was a great experience, but after the things I saw, once was enough. I can't help but feeling like my life is on hold while you're away from home. I have a young son Mikey and I want to be home to see him grow up.

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I heard about this expedition through the Outward Bound veterans program in Canmore, which is funded by the True Patriot Love foundation. Earlier in the year, I participated in an Outward Bound ice climbing course which has increased my skill set with the Ottawa Police E.S.U.

TPL means a lot to me. Two of my buddies suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but we are lucky as we all live in Ottawa and can support each other. There are soldiers who aren't so lucky. I really don't want to find guys like my buddies in the woods. This is why returning Canadian Forces vets need our support.

My son Michael will be six months old when we summit Island Peak. If he wants to follow in his Father's footsteps when he's an adult and march to the top of Island Peak himself, then he'll have my blessing and the freedom as a Canadian to do that. Some folks aren't so lucky.