P.G. Man Walking to Victoria to Raise PTSD Awareness
Prince George, B.C. – Robert Gagnon will embark on a grueling walk from Prince George City Hall to the legislature in Victoria to raise awareness around post-traumatic stress disorder this morning.
A Prince George resident, Gagnon is taking time off from his job as a corrections officer at the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre to complete the walk.
He has also spent two stints in the Canadian Armed Forces (1993-1995 and 2011 to 2016) and plans on walking 22 miles a day (34 kilometres).
“Twenty-two miles a day to signify the 22 lives lost to PTSD each day in the U.S.”
So, what inspired Gagnon to attempt the demanding 26-day journey?
“What’s motivated me to do this is seeing my fellow veterans and co-workers suffer from PTSD. As far as my work in the military goes, they provided enough to help people with PTSD but there needs to be more resources outside of that. It needs to be driven by government.”
A PTSD sufferer himself, he adds the journey will be a personal one for him.
“For me it’s more of a healing journey. A lot of time on the road spent by myself to think and work through a lot of stuff up in my own mind,” he says.
“But I’m also carrying a message and the message is going to be taken to Victoria and I want to hear from people as I’m moving through this. I want to know their situations because I believe our elected officials can do more.”
Gagnon has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for veterans and first responders with PTSD.
He will start his walk at 9 a.m. from the Cenotaph and expects a send off from corrections officers, firemen, sheriffs and paramedics.