As we move into April my thoughts often visit what I personally consider to be the relative beginning of the veterans legacy in Canada. The Battle of Vimy Ridge, the birthplace of Canada’s role as a recognized nation in the Commonwealth. Millions of lives were changed forevermore by The Great War.

The impacts of war and service still bring challenges to our military, veterans, first responders, and their families even now in 2023.

These challenges and the healing required following trauma, are why Honour Ranch is one of our beneficiaries. It doesn’t take more than a few breaths of mountain air to realize what happens at Honour Ranch. Healing. The spectacular views from every vantage point are nothing short of breathtaking.

This past week we worked alongside one of our gracious sponsors, Inland Truck & Equipment and their suppliers. As part of fire mitigation efforts, the group of 80 plus volunteers cleaned up brush that covered 10 acres of Honour Ranch’s facility. These efforts are part of a vital need to reduce the risk of fire spreading through the property.

Tree limbs, ground brush and old deadfalls were cut and stacked in piles to allow for easy removal by equipment.

It was quite easy to see how Inland’s teamwork as a business had moved them seamlessly to the task at hand. The team of volunteers worked with purpose and the grounds were cleared in short order.

Following the days cleanup operations, the group sat down to a beautiful meal and gala awards evening.

The first speaker was Mr. Richard Pass, CEO of Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon. A truly remarkable charity that has touched the lives of so many Canadian families.

Next to the podium was Honorary Lt. Colonel, Al De Genova and Founder of Honour Ranch.

Al spoke quickly about the Honour Ranch mission, its recent history, and its detailed path for the future. His delivery captured the hearts further and further and I could feel the continued compassion in the room building for Honour Ranch and its mission.

Then the spotlight fell upon me to speak about The Rolling Barrage and how our collective missions to help our military, veterans, first responders, and their families are all connected. That connection is interwoven in our communities like a fabric of purpose. As I signed off, I asked Al De Genova back to the podium and took the opportunity to present Honour Ranch with a cheque for $5000.00.

The evening continued with awards and cheer. Many handshakes and new friendships made. The message of veterans/first responder healing from trauma was on the tip of every tongue throughout the evening.

In closing, as someone who has been involved in veterans advocacy and PTSD for almost 3 decades now, I think its truly wonderful to see first hand how teamwork, empathy, compassion, and a sense of purpose, can bring new interest into the world of wellness for those who don a uniform in the service of Canada.

Scott Casey – Founder of The Rolling Barrage