Today, August 19, 2023, is the National Ride for Mental Health day. Last year, the Brandon PS had entered our cycling team; however, this year things just didn't quite come together. As an alternative this year, my wife and I committed to raising funds on our own while promising we would cycle 40 kms. While fundraising has been sparse, we accomplished our 40 km goal before noon today in winds gusting to 44 kms/hr. (not bad, considering last year they were 64 during one of our races).
First Responders face trauma every shift. Wounded Warriors Canada is an organization that provides resources and OSI group-based programs such as the Trauma Resiliency Program, Couples Overcoming PTSD, Couples Resiliency Program, Spousal Resiliency Program, Surviving Spouses' Program, Youth Programs, K9 Assisted Therapy, PTSD Service Dogs, Warrior Kids Camp, First Responder Assist, and more. WWC offers training programs with over 330,000 hours of clinical treatment provided per year while supporting over 2000 Veterans, First Responders and family members/year. Fundraising is key to providing the means to help those with OSIs and their families to recover from their injuries and return to a state of well-being in community. All our fundraising efforts for the National Ride go directly to WWC. If inclined, you can donate through this WWC link: https://woundedwarriorscanada.akaraisin.com/HHIRMH/ba31f09b23844940b989032e1b15a069
On a personal note, there were several times during our 40 km ride today that I thought of our police and chaplain brothers & sisters in Ukraine. I put a decal of the Ukraine flag on my bike over a year ago, and it serves as a reminder to pray for Ukraine every time I ride. I can't imagine the trauma the first responders and soldiers face every single day since the Russian invasion over a year and a half ago. We are blessed to live in Canada. It comes with its challenges for police officers, EMS, Corrections officers, police chaplains, and their families; however, while out riding today, I gave thanks to be able to cycle without any concern for missile strikes or ambushes. Our thoughts and prayers continue for the police, first responders, and police chaplains in Ukraine. May today be a day without a rocket strike and without violent bloodshed. Our hearts are with you with heartfelt thanks to all the police chaplains like Pavlo and Julie and so many others who are in the trenches supporting Ukraine police officers and their families - God bless you and keep you safe! I'm still working at getting the BPS body armor vests to you for your police officers; we are close to our finish line. Stay safe and God bless.
Chaplain/Constable Bruce Ewanyshyn - Brandon PS
ICPC Director of Region 1