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As is the case with everyone, there are a handful of important years that define Paul Franklin's life. 1999 was the year he found his calling, with the Canadian Forces. In 2000 he welcomed his son, Simon, into the world. He completed his first marathon in 2005.
But according to Paul, the best year of his life was 2006; that was the year a suicide bomb ripped through his vehicle in Afghanistan - killing Canadian diplomat Glyn Berry, and seriously injuring two fellow soldiers. Paul nearly died that year. He lost both of his legs, but found a new purpose: to improve the lives of Canadian military and civilian amputees.
When Paul returned from combat in 2006, Canadian vets were routinely sent to the U.S. for rehabilitation. At the time, Canada didn't have the programs or facilities that veterans and amputees needed. Now six years later, largely due to Paul's commitment to the cause, Edmonton is home to a state-of-the-art rehab hospital. In 2009, Paul left the Armed Forces to work as a veterans' advocate full time. He says the veterans community in Canada has come a long way in the last decade, but there's still much work to be done.