By Colonel (Ret’d) Brent Warne
On 27 April 2015, I had the privilege of joining fellow veterans Paul Nichols and Will Smit, a veteran of the Dutch Army, on the Communities for Veterans ride across Canada. This ambitious project was conceived by Paul Nichols to raise awareness of Canadians about the changing face of veterans.
Paul and his team of dedicated family and friends are riding across Canada from British Columbia to Newfoundland. During their 200 day journey they have invited over 700 veterans to join them for a few hours to ride with Paul.
After attending a 2 hours course on horseback riding, I joined Paul and Will for a wonderful ride along Okanagan Lake near Kelowna, BC. Although most of the ride was along a quiet lakeside trail, we met several people who stopped us to find out what we were doing. When they found out who we were and what we were doing, they overwhelmed us with their thanks for our service.
The other unstated aim of the ride is to give veterans a chance to talk to one another about their experiences. To some, the chance to talk about their experiences and the issues they face with their fellow veterans is having a positive experience.
You can find out more about the ride at the website: http://communitiesforveterans.ca/ Chimo!
Photo Caption: Brent Warne, Will Smit and Paul Nichols
About the Author: Colonel Warne served over 39 years in the Canadian Army in Regular and Reserve service, starting as a Sapper and finishing his career as a Colonel commanding 39 Canadian Brigade Group.