I was first introduced to The Rolling Barrage back in 2020 by Nigel and was not able to attend due to Covid and not fully understanding the purpose of the ride at the time.

I registered for the 2021 TRB joining in Red Deer and riding to Burnaby. I was welcomed by the group of riders and introduced to Jim. Listening to him every morning about talking about family and what it means to him struck a chord within my heart and soul. The country’s beauty along the ride west had me reflect on my life and being over the past 10+ years.

On the final night in Burnaby as I sat alone trying to put the whole experience into perspective, Jim came over to me and asked how I was. After a few moments I opened up and let out all the emotions, hurts and misgivings I had bottled up inside me. Jim sat and listened, put his arm around me and said this is the beginning of the healing process. When I got home, I was able to sit down with my wife, Gerry (45 yrs), and started talking with her again. The healing process begins.

2022 saw me in joining TRB in Cranbrook for the short ride back to Burnaby. I never realized what this ride meant until Jim pulled me aside and again asked how I was. To remember and be concerned about my wellbeing was heart felt and welcoming. The TRB family was now my family. Gerry and I are doing things together again. The healing process continues.

Full Pull 2023, NL to BC, I volunteered to be part of the Safety Crew as a Tail Gunner. I had a few misgivings when I was introduced to Chris and the rest of the group. Just like joining a new section, no questions asked, acceptance was given. This small but important group gave me purpose that I was lacking after leaving the Military.

We bonded, we talked, we listened, we gave comfort when needed, accepted encouragement and praise when least expected. 22 days together with brothers and sisters I knew I never had. Each with their own stories, troubles and demons. A quiet morning breakfast with Scott, hugs from brothers and sisters freely given and accepted, a gentle kiss on the cheek with words of encouragement that I am doing well. Now I know we are one, with the love, understanding, acceptance and the willingness to listen, to give comfort and help when and where they can.

Our (my) family! Gerry and my children are enjoying each other’s company again. The healing process continues.

To quote Jim: “I come back to help that one person the way The Rolling Barrage helped me.”

I’ll be back!!

Papa Tom

Tom Macey

Full Pull Alumni / Tailgunner , The Rolling Barrage