It’s been quite the past few years for Bruno Guévremont.
In January of 2014, on the back-end of a 15 year career with the Canadian Armed Forces and two tours in Afghanistan, Guévremont was medically released. He was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“I didn’t want to leave him here alone. He’s my reason for everything.”
It’s his experience with dealing with PTSD that allows him to really shed some light on the challenges facing veterans after service.
“Jumping out of planes; being a diver; bomb expert… [The people I speak to] get to listen and see how I struggled. It just gives them a ray of sunshine and allows them to say ‘hey, I can make it.‘”
After his service, Bruno had to find ways to recover and heal from his injuries. He went on a journey to the North Pole with the True Patriot Love Foundation – a Canadian charity that ‘honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their families.’ Guévremont’s trip to the far North made him understand himself better. It transformed his outlook on life. He wanted to do more to advance mental health awareness.
Bruno credits his son for where he is today.
“He’s 11-years old now…I didn’t want to leave him here alone. He’s my reason for everything.”
Bruno was honoured this past month to have been named Ambassador for the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. Last year, Guévremont served as Canada’s captain. He says this year’s games were just as impactful.
“Toronto did a really good job, it was an amazing success. The 19 nations that brought in their ill/injured soldiers and have them change their lives and their families lives around… It was incredible.”
He even got a chance to meet an old friend.
“Prince Harry is an absolute genuinely inspiring person. I met him last year and spoke a few times and this year was the same. I have lots of time for him.”
Bruno will be in Yellowknife this week as the featured speaker at an upcoming event. It’ll be on Thursday, October 5th at 6:30pm, at the Explorer Hotel. All are welcome to attend the discussion and Mental Health Panel to follow.