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Posted: June 16, 2015

Long Way Home walk for PTSD Awareness in region

The Long Way Home walk for PTSD Awareness arrived in the East Kootenay yesterday (June 15), with Kate MacEachern and team arriving in Sparwood.

Today they are making their way to Fernie and they expect to arrive in Cranbrook in time for Sam Steele Days on Saturday, June 20.

The following is a description of the walk, Kate MacEachern, her team and causes being aided by team member Cindy Murphy.

Kate MacEachern is one of the most courageous individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Her story is one of inspiration and determination.

This year Kate stepped away from Nipawin, Saskatchewan, on May 1, the home of Wounded Warriors Weekend (WWW) and headed to Chilliwack, British Columbia, the location of WWW 2015, with an arrival date of July 24.

Kate is walking to raise funds and awareness for those who have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In 2012 Kate walked (with a full ruck) from CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, walking 576 km.

In 2013 Kate stepped off and walked from Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to Ottawa, Ontario, completing 1,864 km. This time she was a civilian. She carried a full ruck but this time, no uniform.

This is the longest trek yet for Kate as she will cross three provinces in three months and nearly 3,000 km, along with members of The NASH Project.

Cedar (Rebecca) Santanna, animal trainer, founder and President of The NASH Project is travelling on The Long Way Home journey with Kate, calling it “East Meets West” leg of Kate MacEachern’s walk.

Rebecca is accompanied by her daughter and vice-president Emily Freeman. Rebecca and Emily will be rotating through a select number of horses from their Equine Therapy program. The NASH Project began its program through rescuing and repurposing animals. NASH’s rescued horses are trained as therapeutic animals.

Benefactor organizations for The Long Way Home are three service dog organizations: Paws Fur Thought, Alpha K9, The NASH Project (a service dog and horse therapy training organization) and Wounded Warriors Weekend Foundation.

Paws fur thought is a Halifax based organization. Founded by Medric and Jocelyn Couseneau in 2012. Paws’ mandate and mission is to facilitate the pairing of service dogs with those surviving PTSD.

Alpha K9 is a Combat Disabled Veteran run Non-Profit organization dedicated to the principle of providing highly skilled and effective Service Dogs and Working Dogs to those whose lives depend on them. Alpha K9 is based out of the USA and has supplied Veteran Service Dogs to recipients at Wounded Warriors Weekend events.

Wounded Warriors Weekend Foundation is an annual event, which was founded in 2012 by Blake Emmons, a retired Air Force Veteran who served with the Canadian Air Force as well as the United States Air Force and served in Vietnam.

And the many out there that live in our communities that suffer from PTSD.  Please help us help them!

This, Kate’s third walk for awareness began on April 29, at Government House in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Her Honour, Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor for Saskatchewan, officially welcomed Kate MacEachern and her team; Paula DeLorey, Paramedic; Sophie Pyne, Photographer; and Cindy Murphy, Publicist.  Her Honour also welcomed: Rebecca Santanna with The Nash Project and her team; Rebecca’s daughter Emily, Lisa Peterson, NASH Project Ops Manager and truck driver; and Earl, Rebecca’s partner; and Destiny, junior animal worker. Blake Emmons and the team from Wounded Warriors Weekend.  Her Honour then officially kicked-off “The Long Way Home” walk for PTSD Awareness.

A very interested individual from Edmonton also joined the teams in Regina and Nipawin.

Dixon Christie was in his element; with his keen interest in the military and PTSD awareness, Filmmaker, Photographer, Director and Producer, of the show Battle Scars television series.

From Government House, Kate and Rebecca and their teams traveled north to Nipawin, Saskatchewan, for a day of R&R and final organization before Kate and Rebecca began their three-month journey on Friday, May 1 to Chilliwack.

There was the memorable send off from Wounded Warriors Weekend Headquarters. It was truly a sight to behold. Kate had an emotional departure from her father, Hughie MacEachern and her Aunt Linda from Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Kate then rounded up and “huddled” the six members that will be spending their lives together on the road: Kate’s son Tyler, Rebecca, Emily, and Kate’s truck driver Joanne Gilliland (Gunny) and Lisa Peterson, Rebecca and Emily’s truck driver.

After the powerful huddle Rebecca and Emily rode their horses, all the while protecting Kate and Tyler from traffic at the intersection. It was truly a sight to behold; it signified the team work that the girls and Tyler will need along their journey.

It has been an interesting journey thus far indeed!  Let Kate and Rebecca tell you all about it.

Catch up with The Long Way Home Team in your community!

Their upcoming schedule:

16 – June – Sparwood to Fernie – 30.9 km;

17 – June – Fernie to Koocanusa Campsite, Elko – 30.7 km;

18 – June – Elko to Jaffray – 20.6 km

19 – June – Jaffray toward Cranbrook – 23.5 km;

20 – June – to Cranbrook – 23.5 km;

21 – June – in Cranbrook DAY OFF  (Medical) Cranbrook 0 km.

Associated Links

To learn more about Kate please visit her website at: http://www.thelongwayhome.ca

Check out the route at these links:

http://www.thelongwayhome.ca/saskatchewan-leg.html

http://www.thelongwayhome.ca/alberta-leg.html

http://www.thelongwayhome.ca/bc-leg.html

– Link to Kate’s song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkpn7oxHujA


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