Paul Nichols leads fellow Canadian Forces veterans at the start of cross-country ride at the B.C. legislature Monday.

B.C. veterans begin cross-Canada ride

Ride to include 700 veterans, going through Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope, Princeton, Kelowna, Vernon and Armstrong

Quesnel rancher Paul Nichols kicked off a cross-Canada horseback ride Monday to introduce a new generation of veterans to the public and seek their support.

Nichols, who served with Canadian troops during ethnic warfare in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, struggled to control his emotions at a ceremony at the B.C. legislature.

“Our Canadian troops do a hard job for us, and when they choose to transition back into civilian life, some of them struggle and lose their way,” Nichols said. “And I can tell you from personal experience that a heartfelt thank-you and timely support from the community during that time of transition can be life-changing. So my job through this foundation is to put as many Canadian veterans in the saddle as I can.”

Accompanied by other B.C. veterans and his wife Terry, a therapeutic riding instructor, Nichols plans to connect with 700 veterans in an eight-month journey ending in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

“That awareness will create change, and with that change I believe that we can lower the incidence and severity of post-traumatic stress disorder, lower the incidence of family breakup and I think we can lower the incidence of veteran suicide,” Nichols said.

B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon attended the ceremony to wish the riders well on their journey, offering a stop for hay and food at her ranch in the Nicola Valley.

The ride includes stops in Abbotsford, Chilliwack Hope, Princeton, Summerland, Kelowna, Vernon and Armstrong before continuing into Alberta in May.

For more information the ride, and to follow its progress, see their website at www.communitiesforveterans.com.

VIDEO: Canadian Forces riding from Victoria to St. John’s

Just Posted

Maple Ridge chef tops in B.C. for agriculture in the classroom

Chef Brian Smith named the B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year

Flames drop to eighth in PJHL

Ridge loses two games over the weekend

Man known to frequent Maple Ridge wanted by Langley RCMP

An arrest warrant is out for Bryce Telford for allegedly impersonating a police officer

New Maple Ridge council has old problem: Albion flats

Staff asking for politicians to decide direction

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

Surrey Pretrial inmate lodges human rights complaint for not being fed kosher food

Inmate claims denial of her request for kosher diet violates Section 8 of the Human Rights Code

Most Read