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Vlog 05: The Mission Continues

David Faassen, Senior Vice President, Marketing, recaps the Mackenzie Expedition and speaks to two veterans.

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DAVID FAASSEN: We’re back from the Mackenzie Expedition in one piece. The first thing that I would like to say is thank you for all of the amazing support. It’s such a great cause and if you haven’t donated, we’re so close to breaking $100,000. I would implore you to do so. We had a fair share of challenges right from the get-go. A year’s worth of planning was scuttled in the first 18 hours by the wildfires in BC. Despite that, we were able to do an abridged version of the hiking, still make it down the Bella Coola River and then paddle out to the rock where Mackenzie inscribed his name. Along the way, we developed great friendships, we learned how to come together as a team and I think great lessons were passed between the business leaders and the veterans. It was, as mentioned, an amazing cause and so proud to been part of it. I’d like to introduce you to two of the veterans who were on the expedition – two gentlemen who I have grown to admire and now count as friends.  

What do you think is the biggest challenge that veterans face as they transition? 

ROBERT DOLSON, Warrant Officer, CD Company Quartermaster Alpha Company (Mountain) Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry: I think their biggest challenge is the fear of the unknown. I can relate to that. I think this is all I’ve known and I’ve gotten pretty good at it, but the thought of moving on to the civilian world – it really kind of scares me. First of all, am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Can I converse with people of business or outside of the world? Can I adapt? For me, also it was like a belief that there are people out there who are really concerned about military members transitioning and trying to help and make that help and I’ve been preaching it since I came back. There are people out there who want to help. 

DAVID FAASSEN: Thanks, bud, for doing this. Appreciate it very much. 

DAN FRALICK, MWO (Ret’d), Construction Engineering Superintendent, Canadian Military Engineers: No problem. 

DAVID FAASSEN: What are the biggest concerns that you have? What you’ve seen from colleagues who have made the transition? What are the things of concern? 

DAN FRALICK: Ever since you join the military, you’re taken care of from start through finish and you always think that it’s going to be the end all for your whole career and your life, but when you have PTSD, there’s a lot of side effects that come with that such as the loss of self confidence, anxiety, a lot of indecisions – the inability to make everyday decisions that people take for granted. I guess the expedition gave me hope. It gave me hope for my future. It gave me hope that with others’ support, I’m on the road to recovery and I really appreciate that. It’s certainly a game changer for me. It was something that I really needed. The timing was perfect for me. I was releasing from the military, getting out and starting my transition on, but I didn’t know where to go from there. I needed to talk to people who are experienced and successful in their own lives to know where I could go with mine. That’s probably the best part that I got out of it – was living life again.

The plight of Canadian veterans is a topic that is very close to my heart. That is why I participated in the True Patriot Love Scotiabank Mackenzie Expedition this summer. Our team of Canadian business executives and soldiers hiked over the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, rafted down the Bella Coola River and paddled ocean canoes out to the explorer’s historic inscription to raise funds for the True Patriot Love Foundation, a national charity that works to inspire every Canadian to contribute to the resilience and wellbeing of military and Veteran families.

It was an honour to be a part of this expedition and step up for the brave Canadian men and women who serve our country. I would like to thank everyone who helped me achieve my fundraising goal and challenge those who are still interested to help us surpass $100,000. Consider making a donation to this worthwhile cause today. Together, we can make a substantial difference in the lives of veterans and their families.

David Faassen
Senior Vice President, Marketing