Organizers and supporters of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) awareness charity, Military Minds, are currently riding across Canada on the organization’s inaugural Rolling Barrage, a rolling fundraiser to raise money for Military Minds and raise general awareness about PTSD.
The approximately 170 participating riders started their journey out in St John’s, NL on Aug. 4. Their target is to reach Victoria, BC by Aug. 20. Along the way, they’ll be making several stops and hosting events in major cities, as the pack travels from one coast to another.
This is the first ever Rolling Barrage.
“I’m stoked. It’s going to be great to bring so many people together, under one banner, and just ride across the country and raise awareness and put some money together for the boys and girls,” said Scott Casey, President Military Minds.
The fundraiser will raise money for two of Military Minds’ programs, which have been hailed by the mental health community. These programs teach first responders, veterans, and families about the signs and symptoms of PTSD, the science behind it, and how to employ the learned techniques in the family unit.
“That way they can survive the hardships of PTSD,” explained Casey.
But the ride is about much more than just raising funds, says Casey, it’s about creating a band of brotherhood and raise awareness about the disorder.
“PTSD, still no matter what, has a stigma attached to it. It’s a career ender for anyone who comes forward with it. Unfortunately, in Canada, we haven’t adopted some of the practices we need to to help veterans and first responders get back on the job healthy. They claim they're doing it, but it’s all tongue and cheek, as far as I’m concerned.
“It’s important to show Canadians, even if you have PTSD, you’re just a regular person. You’ve got a chemical change in your body. It doesn’t mean you’re a lunatic, like some of the media presented,” said Casey.
The ride is also honouring the 150th anniversary of Canada and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a fact that is mirrored in the fundraiser’s name.
“Vimy Ridge, of course, they employed the artillery tactic of the creepy barrage, where the infantry soldiers would follow a line of artillery shells as they exploded and using that as cover. So, the creeping barrage was a Canadian invention and, so, like that creeping barrage, we’re going to roll across the country making a bit of noise,” added Casey.
To check out The Rolling Barrage’s major events or to see when the riders will be rolling through your area, visit The Rolling Barrage website.