'Shoulder to shoulder': Walk for Veterans held in cities across Canada
Veterans and civilians marched together in several cities across Canada on Sunday.
Published Sunday, June 3, 2018 9:45PM EDT
Veterans and civilians marched together in several cities across Canada on Sunday to show respect and gratitude to those who’ve served the country.
The Canadian Walk for Veterans was held in Victoria, Vancouver, Burnaby, B.C., Edmonton, Ottawa, Kingston, Ont., Fredericton and St. John’s.
The walks were organized by the Equitas Society, an organization that is fighting to restore lifetime pensions for a group of disabled veterans.
“People who served our country have given their all and we need to make sure that we give everything back to them as a country,” said Paul Smith, a member the Equitas Society’s board of directors.
“We see each other on Remembrance Day and we’re all in our uniform we have our medals on and it’s very formal … so we don’t get a lot of time to interact,” said Chance Burles, a former master corporal and one of the organizers of the Edmonton walk. “Here we get to walk right beside each other, shoulder to shoulder.”
In Fredericton, speeches after the walk focused on the need for better mental health services. While thousands of veterans across the country have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, many have said they didn’t receive support fast enough.
Veteran Rick Degruil, for example, was told he would have to wait at least two years for a service dog. He eventually purchased his dog Sarge on his own.
“If it wasn’t for him, chances are I wouldn’t be here right now,” Degruil told CTV News at the walk in Fredericton.
"It used to be that veterans would suffer in silence and not bond with each other and try to help each other out," the former military police officer said. "But now we're starting to figure out that government’s not going to help us a whole lot, we’ve got to stick together ourselves."
With reports from CTV Vancouver and CTV Atlantic