On January 5th, 2016, 8 ill and injured soldiers, 15 Canadian business leaders, and 5 team specialists, departed on the third True Patriot Love Expedition to summit Vinson Massif – the highest peak in Antarctica and one of the world’s Seven Summits – in support of Canadian military families and veterans. The third expedition raised an incredible $2.46 million.
Funds raised from the 2016 expedition to Antarctica have, and will, support many organizations across Canada:
- Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) – CIMVHR has become the hub for 40 Canadian universities and 4 global affiliates, who together have committed themselves to academic research and knowledge translation for the benefit of those who serve in the Canadian Military.
- Outward Bound Canada – The OBC Veterans’ Program is designed to support Canadian veterans as they address transition and wellness challenges related to deployment. The Veterans’ Program is an adventure-based resiliency training program that involves the participation of 10 veterans on a week-long adventure into the Canadian wilderness.
- Prospect – Prospect Forces@WORK is a rapid direct job placement and retention service designed for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and veterans, specifically the ill and injured population. Prospect designed the Forces@WORK pilot program to address this gap and has been serving CAF members and veterans in Alberta and Northern Canada since 2012. Opportunities for growth across Canada are currently being explored. The Interim reporting from Prospect is encouraging – TPL Funding of $250,000 was able to support 144 placements in 2015. With 12 placements per month, the estimated cost per client is $1,736.
Meet Glen Villa
Glen, who serves as a part-time paratrooper and works occasionally as a weapons handler in the film industry, had a dream to become a firefighter. He had taken many courses, but often struggled due to his PTSD as a result of his service. With this teammates cheering him on the whole time, Glen was able to conduct a satellite interview from Antarctica, securing him a place in the next round, and eventually a position within the Mississauga Fire Department.