The Wounded Warrior relay team made its way into the Comox Valley Wednesday after a previous stop in Campbell River.
It gave local team member Rebecca Schillemat a chance to visit with friends, husband and two kids. The team made a stop at the local RCMP detachment before making its way toward 888 Wing for a ceremony that included dignitaries from the military, first responders, local government leaders, Royal Canadian Legion branch representatives and others there to donate to the cause.
The run, in its seventh year on Vancouver Island, raises awareness and funds to support mental health for people in the military and first responders, as well as their families.
One of the new programs this year is the spousal resiliency program, which provides support for families.
“The spouses require just as much support in the struggle against PTSD,” said team captain Jacqueline Zweng.
Schillemat, whose husband is military police, spoke about the importance of the community at the local base in light of how often military families have to move during their careers. For her, even helping with chores like washing dishes for base events provides her with that kind of support.
She was new to the team this year but said her preparation helped for the eight-day run on the Island. They’d had a range of weather, including some snow further north, but the team had really come together.
“We’re living in close quarters. We’re pretty well-meshed now,” she said.
She also said the community support and generosity, especially from places hit hard by the recent forestry dispute on the island, was incredible.
“They’ve been hit so hard,” she said. “But they were still able to give…. They have such a big heart, and it was just amazing to see.”
The run ends in Victoria in March. The plan is to raise $250,000. To donate or get more information, see www.woundedwarriorrunbc.ca or to track the runners live, see www.InThisTogether.run