Tegh Singh isn’t letting snow stop him from driving around Calgary. The veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan is riding 100 kilometers across the city and raising funds for the Veterans Transition Network (VTN).
“When I first enrolled in Veterans Transition Network, which was a program that completely changed my life and saved my marriage, I found out about that program because I was talking to alumni here at the Veterans Association Food Bank, Singh said at first. leg of his ride Saturday morning.
“Just a few years ago, I could barely leave my house,” Singh said. “Now look what I can do with just a little bit of support from these different organizations and how I give it right back to the community and I think we can say that to a lot of veterans if we just rally around them.”
One of his stops was at the Veterans Association Food Bank, another at the Dashmesh Culture Center and at Two Wheel View, a local cycling organization.
Singh said cycling, his faith and the support of other veterans were fundamental in healing from PTSD.
“I really wanted to come out and make a statement about the veteran community and show metaphorically and physically how much further veterans can go if they have a little more support in their community,” said Singh, who rides significantly further than last year. when he raised funds for VTN by driving to military memorials.
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With Singh through the snow and ice was Sven Stuwe, a volunteer mechanic with Two Wheel View. They became friends after Stuwe worked on one of Singh’s bikes. Singh said his friend was a perfect fit for the demanding ride.
“It’s a really big source of comfort to have him on the ride — both with his expertise in cycling and being on the road, and also just having this bond with him over, unfortunately, trauma,” Singh said. “He’s also a great friend.”
In May, Stuwe’s good friend, Angela McKenzie, was killed after she was an innocent victim of a shooting.
Canada-wide warrant issued for suspect in crash that killed innocent Calgary mother
On May 10, 2022, police received several reports of two vehicles driving erratically along 36th Street SE while involved in a shooting. This resulted in one of the vehicles crashing into a van driven by McKenzie at the intersection of 36 Street and 17 Avenue SE
Talal Amer is still wanted on seven Canada-wide warrants related to the tragedy.
“The anger is something that flares up more often,” Stuwe said. “Sometimes there is sadness, but the anger flares up when you think about how it happened and that this person is gone and there is nothing you can do about it. I’m sure it’s similar to things that veterans feel too.”
On Saturday, the two drove by the place where McKenzie died.
“For me it’s a little anxiety,” said Stuwe. “You can’t help but look over your shoulder a little more and make sure all the cars are stopped. I’m sure it’s tenfold or 100-fold for military veterans.
“I wish there was more support. I wish there was more that could be done for them because they really deserve it. They need that help and they have done a lot for us.”
Stuwe said the trauma he feels cannot be compared to what veterans go through, but he added the ride helped him better understand the problems veterans face and what they are capable of.
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Singh said VTN is a “phenomenal organization” that provides veterans with mental health support.
“Mental health is really at the center of a lot of the issues that veterans have in transitioning back to civilian life and VTN has an incredible program that addresses the grief and the trauma and a lot of the common issues that veterans face,” Singh said. .
Other stops on the Saturday bike ride for VTN included the Remington YMCA, Homes for Heroes veteran housing, The Military Museums, Peacekeeper Park and Battalion Park.
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