With the Wounded Warrior B.C. Run finishing this weekend we are reminded of the sacrifices made by those that serve our country and our communities.
It’s those sacrifices that we often overlook.
And unfortunately it is also the sacrifices our local first responders make when serving our communities that we tend to overlook as well.
These men and women are the ones running from the warmth and safety of their homes at all hours of the night. They devote their time and their lives to be ready at a moment’s notice.
They plunge head-first into a dangerous situation, putting themselves at risk, to help someone else.
They are the ones that have to make that call on who to save – and they have to live with that decision for the rest of their lives.
And the things our first responders see in the course of a year, a month and a week could bring even the strongest to their knees.
For those of us that don’t serve, we can only imagine what they go through, how they manage to deal with that stress and emotion, while carrying on with their day and their family lives, trying not to let it affect them or those around them.
While laws are put in place to try and keep them safe when they are working on the side of the road, the injuries we cannot see are often overlooked.
Yes, it is important we keep these men and women safe while they are out serving the community, but it is equally important that we make sure those injuries you cannot see are also being addressed.
Talking about feelings, especially in those industries often stereotyped as macho, has this stigma around it that creates walls and keeps people from getting the help they need.
While post traumatic stress disorder or operational stress injuries have been taboo subjects in the past, in recent years many groups and organizations have empathized the need for more research to be done on these subjects.
These are injuries that are no longer just associated with veterans.
But our first responders – and military members – are still not getting the help they need.
They take care of us each and everyday, so now it is our turn to make sure we are taking care of them.
No one should have to suffer on their own.