Afghanistan veteran who overcame PTSD awarded Sacrifice Medal
A Canadian war veteran who served in Afghanistan and who's been a key advocate for soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder is the newest recipient of the Sacrifice Medal.
Cpl. Jamie McWhirter was awarded the medal, which is given out to wounded soldiers, at a ceremony on Tuesday in St. John's.
"The Sacrifice Medal is not a medal just given to a soldier, it's given to a family," he said. "It's not just me who suffered, it's my entire family; my wife, my kids, my parents."
McWhirter said he is thankful to his family for their support and he was accepting the award on their behalf.
Started PTSD Buddies
Since returning from a seven-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, McWhirter has become a vocal advocate for soldiers suffering from PTSD. The award is a recognition of that work.
McWhirter started a Facebook group called PTSD Buddies to help other soldiers dealing with the illness get the help and support they need.
"Right now we have over 1550 members, all finding support and leaning against each other and it's a wonderful thing to look at," he said.
"Just the other day someone at three o'clock in the morning felt suicidal, and they went on PTSD Buddies and at three o'clock in the morning they found somebody to talk to, and they were able to help each other."
McWhirter said it meant a lot to him to be recognized for his service with the Sacrifice Medal.
"I'm very honoured to be receiving it today."
With files from Jonathan Crowe