Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bravo Zulu, Cpl. Kate

Leopard tank driver Cpl. Kate MacEachern broke a world record last year walking over 500 kilometers from her post at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick to her hometown of Antigonish, N.S. to raise $20,000 for injured veterans. In full battle dress with a 22 kilogram kit on her back, she did it on her annual holidays.
DefMin Airshow MacKay was so impressed he walked the last kilometer with her.  
                                                                                In June this year she asked for 20 extra days of unpaid leave in addition to her 25 days of holiday time to make a trek three times longer from Cape Breton to Ottawa to raise $100,000 for vets with post-traumatic stress disorder, which she suffered from herself after a serious spinal cord injury in a training exercise six years ago.

In a truly tone-deaf PR blunder, her request was refused on the grounds that two months was insufficient time to get permission from the deputy DND minister for the extra time off as well as DND funding she hadn't asked for.  So committed is Cpl. MacEachern to her personal mission, which she has called the Long Trek Home after the struggle vets go through after coming home, she has reluctantly quit her 25 year contract with the military after eight years - in what she has called a "gut-wrenching decision" - in order to be able to go ahead with her trek to Ottawa anyway.

I very much liked her sign, although she's not the first to use those words.
We all need inspiration to find the courage to speak up in our own shaky voices.  
Thank you, Cpl. Kate, for yours.


Anonymous said...

We are with you in mind and spirit, if not in body, Cpl. Kate. Carry on with your good work.

West End Bob said...

Great sign and sentiments . . . .

Kev said...

Sadly Kate is just the type of person we need in our military. She has my utmost respect.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, this is the citizen this country needs.

Anonymous said...


"An officer or non-commissioned member may be granted special leave:

not exceeding 30 calendar days by or under the authority of the Chief of the Defence Staff; or
for any period by or under the authority of the Minister."

Boris said...

As a good friend said to me a little while ago, "I'm glad I got out when I did." I'm sure something like this can actually compound a persons PTSD because the great green machine is blind and dumb and often astoundingly petty at precisely the point when it needs to be supportive.

Boris said...

On a side note, is it wrong to feel a little gleefully curious about what sort of antics JustMin MacKay will get up to in his new home?

Alison said...

Boris : Yes with Airshow MacKay and Nicholson swapping ministries, JustMin MacKay is now Minister of You No Longer Have the Right to Remain Silent, while DefMin Nicholson becomes Minister of You Don't Have the Right to Any Privacy from the NSA.
In other news Lisa Raitt is now Minister of "sexy" train disasters, so there's that.

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