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Long Ride Home is a communications initiative dedicated to helping currently serving and former Canadian Forces members and first responders heal from visible and non-visible injury.

Key Objectives:

To create awareness of what the current generation of Canadian Forces has achieved globally, along with the roles played by first responders in protecting Canadians from coast to coast to coast

To create awareness of the visible and non-visible price paid by many in realizing those achievements and to add to the national dialogue about what we can do to help

To document various paths that many current and former Canadian Forces members and first responders are taking to heal so that others in need can learn and be inspired to follow a healing path that is right for them

To create greater awareness of the need to support the organizations that support our soldiers and first responders

Long Ride Home is supported, in part, by the Department of National Defense’s Targeted Engagement Program

The Need

In Afganistan alone, 158 Canadian Forces members gave their lives. Hundreds more sustained visible and/or non-visible injuries – the highest since the Korean War.

Campaigns in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, and other conflict zones have added to the toll and the price paid by Canadian soldiers.

In recent years, more than 60 Canadian soldiers and vets have died by their own hand since returning home.

Firefighters, paramedics, police officers, correctional officers – all face similar stresses and are subject to similar post-traumatic stress.

As a nation, we owe it to our soldiers and first responders to provide the support they need at the time they need it most.

The Vision

The objective of the Long Ride Home communications initiative is to offer current and former Canadian Forces members and first responders an opportunity to share the healing experience of their brothers and sisters in arms, along with a broader Canadian audience.

By sharing the lived experience and understanding the benefits of various therapeutic paths, a soldier or first responder is better equipped to choose a healing path that appeals physically, emotionally and cognitively.

The Soldiers

For many soldiers, returning home marks merely the beginning of what may be the most daunting battle yet: The fight to regain health and overcome visible and/or non-visible injuries.

Here, we share the stories of courageous men and women, both currently serving and veteran soldiers, along with first responders, as they combine traditional therapies with new and innovative pathways to healing.

By generously and openly sharing their lived experience, these people create a teaching channel through which others can share and benefit.

The Paths to Healing

Healing is a process that is unique for each person. Some find a healing path in art. Others through individual or competitive sport. Companion dogs are a healing influence for many.  Neurotherapy, medical cannabis, and other innovative treatments are changing lives and offering new hope.

For example, Long Ride Home began as a production documenting a horseback riding camp organized by the Riding Academy at the Horse Palace, the Toronto Police Mounted Unit, and Soldier On. After witnessing the positive physical and emotional benefits of the riding program, it could only be described as transformational.

A key objective is to digitally document the healing journeys our soldiers and first responders are taking so that others have greater insight and understanding when selecting a therapeutic path that is right for them.