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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: James Bay wolf released into wild of western Vancouver Island

Conservation officers confirm wolf is from Discovery Island

Traffic delays: Saturday work added to Highway 1 construction schedule

Work continues on dangerous stretch between Leigh Road and West Shore Parkway

Supreme Court bans Victoria man from practising law

Jeremy Maddock received a law degree in 2016 but never completed articling

Canadian Tire Fix-A-Heart campaign raises more than $75,000 for Royal Jubilee Hospital

Donations will help purchase infusion pumps for cardiac care units

Victoria shops avoid plastic bags, despite bylaw being voided

The city is working on getting the bylaw re-established

VIDEO: Driver guilty in Saanich crash that left 11-year-old with catastrophic brain injuries

North Saanich woman convicted on one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read