Long Walk to Sanity – Medric Cousineau
By: 25751 (IV) OCdt Kettenacker
“At the edge of destiny you must test your strength – Avery Bishop”. This quote was how 13855 Captain (ret) Medric Cousineau – Class of 1983, recipient of the Star of Courage, began his presentation to the 4th year class of 2014. An RMC graduate of Honors English and Philosophy in 1983, Cousineau embarked upon a poignant retelling of his experiences in the Forces, during which the details of his 1986 rescue operation in the North Atlantic were shared, and how it set the stage for PTSD. Now more than 26 years later, Cousineau details his ongoing personal struggle with the mental health condition, to the extent where he was paired with his PTSD Service Dog, Thai. This move, he says, has made the single largest improvement in his physical and mental health, and goes on to extol the benefits of having a Service Dog uniquely trained to prevent his symptoms of the “designer injury.”
As the accounts of his experiences grow to a close, Cousineau stresses that we will be dealing with troops with experiences beyond the scope of what we’ve ever dealt with, which will pose the greatest challenge we face as prospective graduates. He goes on to explore themes about bravery, fear, leadership and spirituality, and concludes with another quote: “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. All that matters is that courage continues”.
Medric Cousineau has recently completed a 50 day “Long Walk to Sanity” marathon, a cause he initiated with his wife to raise awareness of PTSD Service Dogs and their benefits, and to fundraise enough money to help another 50 veterans with PTSD themselves. His target is to reach $350 000; currently he has raised $50 000.
Minister of National Defence and Chief of the Defence Staff visit deployed Canadian Armed Forces personnel
“”It was an absolute pleasure for me to meet with the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces who are doing such an outstanding job representing our country abroad,””
12192 General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS)
“”This sniper concentration has enhanced our soldiers’ specialized skills required to maintain the high readiness levels expected of the Canadian Army,”” said Lieutenant-General 12966 Marquis Hainse, Commander of the Canadian Army. “”In turn, this will ensure that our Army is ready to defend Canada at home and abroad.””
Pictured is 6604 Dr James Carruthers (Class of ’65) with 1st Year 26970 Zachary Thomson and family from Drumheller, Alberta. Zach just received the 2013 Carruthers RETP Scholarship.