Recipient Spotlight: Soldier On- MCpl (Ret’d) Trevor Vautour
“On February 1, 2019, I was selected to be a member of Team Canada at the 2019 Warrior Games. With one powerful sentence “you have been selected as a member of Team Canada,” a fire in me was relit”
I joined the Canadian Armed Forces on April 22, 2004, as an infantryman. It was through the great leadership and continued push from my family at my unit that I had gotten myself to a mental and physical state where I could go out for Selection in 2007 with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment. After completing Selection and all the following courses needed to become a Special Forces Operator, I was badged in May 2008 and immediately started serving my new regiment.
I deployed on multiple tours to Afghanistan and Africa. Throughout my 14 years in the CAF, Soldier On was nothing more than a name I would hear whispers about. That all changed in September 2014 when a friendly-fire incident resulted in me being shot in the back and significantly injured. This meant re-learning how to do all the basic skills I had taken for granted prior to my injury, such as walking and picking my kids up. Members who were released informed me of how Soldier On could help to keep me going through these tough times.
After years of rehab, it became clear that my medical situation was not going to allow me to get back into the fight no matter how bad I wanted it. Now, the uniform that gave me an identity and a purpose was being taken away from me. Feeling unsure of what the next chapter in life had in store for me, I was starting to distance myself from the outside world.
Through a night of internet surfing, I saw a promotion video for the 2019 Warrior Games in Tampa Bay. This was when Soldier On became real to me and became an organization that is now, and will always be, close to my heart. Soldier On showed me that even though my time wearing the uniform had ended, it didn’t mean that the passion I have for helping others had to end, nor did it mean my identity was gone. Soldier On showed me that many soldiers have gone through the same issues I have and provided me with the tools to overcome and adapt to my new path in life.
On February 1, 2019, I was selected to be a member of Team Canada at the 2019 Warrior Games. With one powerful sentence “you have been selected as a member of Team Canada,” a fire in me was relit – a feeling that I thought was lost after my injury. Training Camp gave me an opportunity to see the power of adaptive sports, and an opportunity to bond with other members who were living with injuries and learning how to adapt to their new paths in life. This was all made possible by Soldier On.
Now, with the games completed, my new tools and my teammates, I feel I can adapt and overcome on the new path life has given me. I continue to push myself at the gym, help raise awareness of Soldier On initiatives and help those in need through local and international volunteering.
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