The Rolling Barrage

It IS the key to helping you, me and others reconnect with themselves and what was and should still be important in our lives. A life changed by debris from our service to our country.

Some refer to it as PTSD, others as OSI…. Either way, it can be a beast and seems to never quit. It leeches its way into all aspects of your life. Irritability, hyper vigilance, tremors, terrors, sleep disruption….. if you aren’t affected, you’re still welcome here. If you are affected, you belong more than you may think right now.

In 2017, I had a chance meeting at a birthday party for a friend. I was introduced to Scott Casey and his lovely gal Leslie. It was a passing introduction and we never really conversed. Fate started its work.

A short while later, fires lit up our BC community, we were evacuated and I was laid off work.

My wife was reading about a motorcycle ride crossing Canada and a guy named Casey that was doing it for veterans and PTSD. A little research confirmed that the Casey fellow was in fact the Scott Casey that we had just met.

She said to me that I had the time, so I should ride with them. We made it happen, and I then met Scott Casey for the second first time in Clearwater, BC. I rode to Kamloops with the group and had dinner.

I am a first responder. 30+ years of policing under my belt. The TRB cause was noble, but I was a retired cop, not military personnel. I remember phoning my wife that evening and telling her that “I wasn’t feeling it”.

That there was a very heavy military presence, and I wasn’t sure that I belonged.

I had registered to ride to Victoria, so I showed up the next day and rode to Chilliwack with them.

I met some awesome people that day and they accepted me like one of their own. I had dinner with them, laughed, told stories and shared a room with 2 fabulous young men (Jamie and Alex) in the hotel.

I phoned my wife again and told her that I DID belong. I felt it. I’m tearing up as I type this because of that memory.

The next day we rode to Victoria and had a fun, albeit a bit of a crazy evening closing out the inaugural ride.  That was the start….. I belonged and they got me.  Scott actually referred to me as switched on and I wondered how long my switch had been turned off.

Since 2018, I’ve been the National Police Liaison, have ridden 3 full pulls and another partial.

I had major surgery in 2020 so that year and 2021, I worked in the background. I was a member of the Board for MMI and TRB during my time, helping and watching TRB mature and grow.

Medical issues may preclude me from riding in the future, but TRB will always be a part of me and has helped me remain grounded.  I have found me again and have begun my healing or “management” journey with the strength I’ve gained from TRB.

I’ve gathered a new larger family that are not all first responders!!

Although, on that front I’ve had meetings and communicated with leadership of the RCMP, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Halifax Regional, Miramachi, Fredericton, Sûreté du Québec, OPP, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Calgary and Alberta Sheriffs Police Agencies.  We have their buy in and support each year as we pass through their area of jurisdiction.  I have gained life-long friends through this journey.

Feedback has ranged from a simple thank you to letters of praise for our efforts to help and support the first responder community.

We are making a difference, never doubt that. I’ll see you on the road in some capacity.

TRB, is the family that you never knew you had. A family that just knows, will not judge and will help you find the you that has been missing.  As a supervisor in policing, I always signed off “Be Safe”.  TRB will help you “Be Safe” and healthy as we battle this beast together.

Love to my new family. Thank you for your time, love and understanding during our travels together. I’ll never forget you.

Mark Doratti

Full Pull Alumni / Tailgunner, The Rolling Barrage