Warrior Games athlete pays it forward

September 23, 2019 — Defence Stories

Following what he describes as an “unforgettable” Warrior Games experience, a Royal Canadian Navy Combat Systems Engineer is helping others with a generous act of chivalry.

Leading Seaman Desi Cozier has come to the assistance of the Gallant Knights Charity Sports Association, a newly created non-profit to help injured veterans and current-serving military pay for sporting goods and equipment.

Gallant Knights is organizing its first annual 2019 Soldier On Motorcycle Ride and Classic Car Rally. The event will be held in 36 different regional routes in Ontario on Sept. 21 and 28. LS Cozier is selling raffle tickets for the event and hoping Victoria’s defence community will support this initiative.

“Now that I have completed my Warrior Games experience, I wanted to help others and give them same healing I enjoyed while at the same time spreading the word about the Soldier On program,” said LS Cozier. “Right now, I have established and organized a meeting with Victoria’s Mayor Helps office to assist with reaching out to community groups as well as MLAs. I’m reaching out to friends, family, CFB Esquimalt, social media and local businesses to buy tickets or help boost our sales in any way they can.”

He hopes some of the lucrative prizes in the raffle will catch the attention of motorcycle enthusiasts across the country. Motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has offered several prizes including an early bird prize of a $2,500 cash credit to be used at its officially licensed motorcycle dealerships, a 2019 Triumph Speedmaster motorcycle, and a 2019 Harley-Davidson Street 750.

LS Cozier was among 39 athletes who represented Canada at the United States’ Department of Defence Warrior Games in Tampa June 21 to June 30. The Department of National Defence’s Soldier On program organizes Canada’s Warrior and Invictus Games teams and holds regional sports camps throughout the year.

He jumped at the chance to pitch in with the fundraising initiative when he was first approached by Gallant Knights organizer and fellow Warrior Games athlete Maj (Retired) Corey Moore during a Warrior Games training camp in Victoria last April.

PO1 (Retired) Joe Kiraly who works as a director with the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group’s Soldier On program has been impressed by the “generous” efforts of LS Cozier and other athletes to support Soldier On as they continue to recover from injuries.

“Desi has proven himself to be a highly motivated and energetic fellow,” said Kiraly. “He and Corey Moore and other Warrior and Invictus Games athletes are helping us enhance our service delivery while at the same time telling Canada about the healing power of our programs at Soldier On.”

Soldier On currently offers sports equipment grants to its athletes but often times the funds aren’t enough to pay for the full cost of the equipment.

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