Wounded war vets bond over Rocky Mountain train trip
Trip through mountains a healing journey for soldiers and their families
A group of war veterans got to enjoy the splendour of the Rocky Mountains aboard the Train of Heroes.
The passengers were military vets from Canada and other countries who have been injured in combat.
Luxury train company Rocky Mountaineer teamed up with the non-profit group Wounded Warriors to provide the trip-of-a-lifetime from Vancouver to Lake Louise for five veterans and their families.
Two Canadian soldiers were joined by combat vets from Australia, Britain and the U.S. The trip wrapped up on Wednesday.
Retired Corp. John Lowe served in Afghanistan, returning to Canada with post-traumatic stress disorder.
He said the special rail journey gives suffering soldiers a chance to meet others in the same situation.
"Things that you think are unique to you and are weird is what hundreds of other guys are going through at the same time,” he said.
"It's empowering. It's empowering to know that you can talk to somebody else because they have a similar experience to you."
Chris Leverkuhn, a soldier from Texas who lost his foot in Iraq and was awarded a Bronze Star by the U.S. military, said the group became good friends on the trip.
“If you've been in the conflict, you've been in the combat zone, you know the experience. You've shared in that. And it doesn’t matter where you’re from,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what nation you’re with, or who you’re under, you’re our brothers and sisters in the same fight,” he said.
Scott Maxwell, the executive director of Wounded Warriors Canada, said the trip helps the soldiers to heal.
"It was quite emotional and it really helps them realize that they're not alone,” he said.