Nova Scotia

Soldiers march in Cape Breton to raise funds

Soldiers in Cape Breton took part in a 20 kilometre march to raise funds for Soldier On, a national non-profit group that gives money to injured soldiers and their families.

Soldier On funds support injured soldiers

Soldiers hit the streets in Cape Breton on Saturday to help out their injured comrades.

The soldiers, all medics, were taking part in a fundraiser called Soldier On.

They started their 20 kilometer march from Glace Bay to Sydney early Saturday morning.

"This fund is needed because we do have a lot of injured soldiers who come back off of tours," said organizer Sgt. Diane Weir. "It is to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle after they are out of the military."

The soldiers were raising money for Soldier On, a national non-profit group that gives money to injured soldiers and their families, to allow them to enjoy sports and other recreational activities.

"An injured soldier decides what they want," said Weir, citing examples like specialized gym equipment or athletic prosthetics.

Weir says this fund is over and above what the military provides to injured soldiers.

Soldier On started in 2006 but this was the first year they marched in Cape Breton.

"It's extremely personal to me," said Private Joseph Myers. "It feels as if I'm supporting those who have already gone, as well as hopefully show myself the kind of support that's available if I were to go, as well as what's available to me when I come home."

Injured soldier Adam Boutilier received a cheque for almost $4,200 from Soldier On. Boutilier's foot was blown off by an I.E.D. in Afghanistan in 2009.

He previously applied for and used Soldier On funds to attend a bicycle fitness camp.

Although this was Cape Breton's first Soldier On march, organizers say it won't be the last. They plan to keep helping soldiers like Adam Boutilier lead active healthy lives.