The Rolling Barrage starts its fourth inclusive cross-Canada motorcycle ride
July 28, 2020 – Defence Stories
Author: Sergeant Paul Harman
The barrage rolls through Cape Breton in 2019.
On August 4, 2020, The Rolling Barrage (TRB) starts its fourth inclusive cross-Canada motorcycle ride, presented by Military Minds Inc. (MMI).
TRB’s mission is to create and maintain a community of support for veterans, serving Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, and first responders, to show strength and unity, and to help conquer the stigma of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). TRB also acts as MMI’s rolling fundraiser, generating money for programs and organizations that provide assistance to those who serve our country.
MMI started out as a Facebook group in 2011 by Corporal (Cpl) Chris Dupee. MMI has grown into a unique organization, a trusted hub that connects a community of more than 130,000 people to the spokes of services and support they require. It helps members find the best paths to get where they need to go, based on their individual needs. Cpl (ret’d) Scott Casey now helms MMI and founded TRB to assist its mission with a physically visible and audible presence.
TRB’s inaugural run was in 2017, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge. Success was realized at Vimy, because of our soldiers’ tenacity and the employment of Canadian-developed techniques, like the brilliant use of artillery fire. That “rolling barrage” of fire allowed the attackers to walk up the hill, under cover, and take control in a short timeframe.
Now, The Rolling Barrage helps those who serve walk up their own hill of recovery. For many, this ride has become a rolling support network and therapy event. It allows those who struggle with PTSD to find a community that they can trust, where they can connect with comrades and those who have gone through similar experiences. Many new riders comment that they never opened up like they did on their first ride.
On my first ride, I was immediately drawn in by the outpouring of emotion and camaraderie with my brothers- and sisters-in-arms – my fellow riders. The first day had such an impact on me that I convinced my wife (a two-tour vet of Afghanistan) to ride alongside with her own bike. This year will be our fourth riding with TRB.
TRB is truly a “rolling community”. Riders who don’t suffer with PTSD themselves help support those who are struggling with injuries that can be just as devastating as physical ones. We live and breathe the maxim that “not all wounds are visible” and, in the company of our first responders and civilian supporters, we also become aware that “not all wounds are military” – and that we are not alone.
Due to COVID-19, TRB 2020 riders will not have the opportunity to ride the entire route from coast to coast. Instead, we’ll ride within our recognized provincial bubbles and roll the barrage from east to west, distanced at the borders but bound in spirit.
For more information on this year’s ride, or to register or make a donation, visit The Rolling Barrage web page.
General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, attends a pre-ride gathering in Vars, Ontario in 2019, prior to the barrage rolling to Parliament Hill and a ceremony with the Governor General’s Foot Guards.
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