Veteran ends walk in Chilliwack this Friday

Kate MacEachern is completing a walk from Saskatchewan to Chilliwack this week, in an effort to raise awareness about PTSD

Kate MacEachern and her team have crossed three provinces in three months

Kate MacEachern and her team have crossed three provinces in three months, on foot and by horseback, to raise funds and awareness for post traumatic stress disorder.

They began in Nipawin, SK on May 1, and their incredible journey will end in Chilliwack on July 24. And when they arrive, a warm welcoming committee will be waiting.

By the time they get here, they will have travelled more than 2,700 kilometres, and met with thousands of people along the way.

This is the third leg of MacEachern’s Long Way Home tour. In 2012, she walked (with a full ruck) from CFB Gagetown, NB to Antigonish, NB, a total of 576 km. And in 2013, Kate walked from Port Hawkesbury Cape Breton, NS to Ottawa, ON, completing 1864 kms.

Welcoming committee organizer Paula DeWit is inviting the public to come out and cheer her along in her final steps, as ‘east meets west.’

“So many wonderful people have come on board to help us make this a memorable finale from the Chilliwack Branch of the Anavets, the Canadian Army Veterans, the Mountain View Harley Davidson to Rick Genge and Bruce Topp and so many more,” she says. “There will be food and there will be music. There will be folks from all walks of life and many PTSD survivors from veterans, fire fighters to first responders. We are hoping for a big turnout from Chilliwack to line the streets as they walk into town.”

The Long Way Home team will leave the highway at Prest Road and take Chilliwack Central Road into town. They will turn left at Broadway and complete their journey at the Chilliwack Airport at 4:30 p.m.

Plenty of dignitaries will be on hand, including MLAs Laurie Throness and John Martin, who will share barbecue duties. Mayor Sharon Gaetz will also be on hand to offer words of welcome.

DeWit notes that the team is fundraising along the way, and no amount is too small.

Follow along the team’s adventures with daily updates on their Facebook page, and visit  http://www.thelongwayhome.ca.

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Historically, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been associated with military personnel and their reactions to traumatic experiences involving combat and warfare situations. Recently PTSD has been linked to traumatic situations encountered by everyday individuals. PTSD can be triggered by incidents such as: terrorism attacks or devastating natural disasters, or highly personal events like a single-car accident, losing a job or business, divorce, failing to achieve a goal, loss of a loved one, seeing or hearing of a death, personal injury, childhood trauma or any other life-altering experience.