Capt. Trevor Greene will become a familiar face in the Royal Roads University school of peace and conflict management, where he became as an honorary member Monday.
The Nanaimo-based army veteran suffered a massive brain injury on March 4, 2006, after a 16-year-old Afghan teen put an axe through his skull during what was meant to be a peaceful meeting with elders in a village in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
The teen was gunned down within moments, but Greene can’t help but wonder if the ordeal might have been avoided if the boy had been given an education.
“The boy who attacked me had no education and no hope,” said Greene, 46, speaking in the soft, determined voice he regained through speech therapy. “The Taliban had him convinced that killing an infidel would get him into heaven.”
Greene and his wife Debbie are now establishing a foundation to send Afghan children to school.
“Early intervention is most important,” he said.
Alex Morrison, director of the school of peace and conflict management, called Greene an inspiration.
“We study conflict analysis, and here’s a fellow who’s experienced conflict it in the most extreme sense,” Morrison said. “We want to recognize him for what he did and what he suffered.”
It’s the first time the school has recognized an honorary member. The designation means Greene will be invited to school functions, such as welcoming dinners for new students and the end-of-term garden party.
He was also formally welcomed and given a chance to speak to the school’s students and faculty earlier this week. “I feel honoured,” Greene said. “It gives me a warm feeling becoming a part of this school.”
Greene’s rehabilitation is slow and ongoing as he works towards his goal to walk again.
He is the subject of a 2008 CTV-produced documentary Peace Warrior, and he’s writing a book about his experience that will be published by HarperCollins next year.