The 2022 Canadian Walk for Veterans takes place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Courtenay Riverway Heritage Walk (Mansfield Drive entrance). Scott Stanfield photo

The 2022 Canadian Walk for Veterans takes place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Courtenay Riverway Heritage Walk (Mansfield Drive entrance). Scott Stanfield photo

Canadian Walk for Veterans returning to Courtenay

Sept. 25 fundraiser supports Canadian veterans and first responders

The 2022 Canadian Walk for Veterans will return as an in-person event to Courtenay on Sept. 25.

The event will serve to raise awareness of the plight of Canadian veterans, first responders and foreign nationals who have supported Canadian troops in conflict zones such as Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Afghanistan and other peacekeeping missions.

The Courtenay walk is one of 11 taking place in Canadian cities, coast to coast on Sept. 24/25.

In addition to the Courtenay event, walks are also taking place in White Rock, Abbotsford, Kamloops (B.C.), Edmonton, Sylvan Lake, Calgary (Alta.), Prince Albert (Sask.), Kingston (Ont.), Phillipsburg (Que.) and Halifax (N.S.).

The Courtenay walk takes place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Courtenay Riverway Heritage Walk (Mansfield Drive entrance). Registration begins at 10 a.m.

Proceeds from the Courtenay walk will be donated to the True Patriot Love Afghan Resettlement campaign. True Patriot Love will in turn distribute the money across Canada to local organizations that are working directly with Afghan refugees and their families as they adapt to life in Canada. The funds will provide support for legal costs, housing, language training, mental health supports, employment, education training and more.

For decades, interpreters, translators, project managers and cultural advisors have put their lives at risk to support Canada’s missions around the world. As a result of their critical work and sacrifice, many of them were kidnapped, tortured, killed as traitors or prosecuted as spies. The most recent example is in Afghanistan, where the Taliban now control the country and those who offered assistance to Canadians are in immediate danger, as are their families. While the Government of Canada has announced some measures to bring them to Canada and help them resettle, much more additional support is needed.

“Highly skilled interpreters, cultural advisors and project officers have always been essential to Canadian military and peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and other conflict zones. They’ve served alongside us in very high-risk environments helping to keep us safe and we should not leave them behind,” says Randie Scott, a 35-year veteran of Correctional Service of Canada, who served in Afghanistan as a member of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team. “The public tends to think of veterans as soldiers from the First World War, Second World War, or the Korean War, but we also have a generation of young veterans among us who deserve our thanks and need our support. Unlike Remembrance Day, where we tend to pay tribute to the fallen, the Canadian Walk for Veterans is an opportunity to walk shoulder to shoulder with veterans and thank them while they are still among us.”

Information about the 2022 Canadian Walk for Veterans and registration details for each city can be found at www.canadianwalkforveterans.com.

Anyone who cannot attend a walk but would like to support Canadian veterans, first responders or the TPLF Afghan Resettlement Fund can make a donation through the website.

“COVID-19 has been hard on a lot of veteran and first responder organizations across the country, so this year we have teamed up with other organizations to help them raise money to support local charities,” said national co-organizer Marc Burchell. “Wherever they live, we encourage Canadians from coast to coast to coast to support the Canadian Walk for Veterans and the veterans in their community by joining the Walk in one of the 11 cities, or by walking where they live and making a donation. However they choose to participate on the Sept. 24/25 weekend, we encourage everyone to share pictures or videos of their walk experience on social media using #canwalk4vets.”

For more information, visit www.canadianwalkforveterans.com and True Patriot Love Afghan Resettlement Fund.

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