Today is Remembrance Day, and across Canada people will pause to reflect upon the tremendous sacrifices made – both past and present – to maintain our freedom and keep peace in the world.
Here at The Ottawa Mission, we have come to know an increasing number of military veterans in recent years. Some come here for meals, some stay at the shelter, and some are desperately looking for help to change their lives. Thomas is one of them.
Thomas was a recent participant in our five month residential addiction treatment program called LifeHouse. A few years ago he served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and, like so many in the military, he experienced the real horror of war. The trauma he endured during this time led to PTSD and addiction. While staying at The Mission he received intensive counselling to help put his experiences into perspective so that he can lead a healthy and productive life. Today Thomas says that he is finally hopeful about the future – especially the prospect of returning to his family where he belongs.
For Thomas and many other veterans who need our help, the Mission not only offers trauma counselling, but we also work with Veterans Affairs to refer anyone with a military background to other available support programs.
A minute of silence will begin The Mission’s daily Chapel service today, marking the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
For Thomas and all who have served, we will remember.