A number of riders eat their lunch at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36 in Fernie. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

A number of riders eat their lunch at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36 in Fernie. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Rolling Barrage makes a pit stop in Fernie

The country-wide event raises awareness about PTSD in veterans and first responders

The Rolling Barrage wheeled its way through the Elk Valley on Aug. 20, stopping over for lunch at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36.

A 19 day cross-Canada motorcycle ride, the Rolling Barrage raises funds and awareness for veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A pit stop in Fernie was organized by April Atherton, whose brother, Nigel Colley, is a veteran and longtime participant of the Rolling Barrage. Upon attending last year, Atherton noticed a lack of local awareness for the event, taking it upon herself to organize this year’s event.

“My brother came through Fernie with the Rolling Barrage last year, however nobody knew of it, so I thought people should,” said Atherton.

Spending an hour at the Legion, the fleet of over 45 riders, some of which came from as far as Ontario, ate lunches donated by the Legion and the Atherton family.

A number of Fernie’s first responders also attended the event to show their support, including three firefighters and four police officers.

Operating annually since 2017, the event seeks to break the stigma associated with PTSD, while establishing a supportive community of veterans, first responders, and their loved ones.

Named after the creeping barrage, a tactic employed in the infamous Battle of Vimy Ride, the event was created by Military Minds Inc., a peer to peer support group geared towards connecting those dealing with PTSD to services, programs, and others facing the disorder.

Ensuring the event continued despite the pandemic, this year’s ride began in Halifax on Aug. 3, and ended in Vancouver on Aug. 22.

“Our job is to look after veterans, it doesn’t matter where they’re from, they’re veterans,” said Jeannie Watson, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36. “This is the first time they’ve stopped at the branch and we wish them luck and hope they raise millions of dollars.”

Following their stopover in Fernie, the riders continued to Cranbrook, where they spent the evening before heading to Kelowna the next day.

“If you’ve had any military people in the family or you’ve been in the military, you know what PTSD is all about,” said Paul Boulanger, a rider who began the ride in Port Dover, Ontario. “We’re hoping the suits in Ottawa see this event and put more money towards supporting PTSD in soldiers and first responders.”

All funds raised by the registration for the Rolling Barrage go towards operational retreats across Canada, serving first responders and veterans struggling with PTSD, alongside their immediate family.

For more information on the Rolling Barrage or to donate to the cause, visit their Facebook page or website at militarymindsinc.com/rolling-barrage/.



reporter@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

mental health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The motorcyclists make their way out of Fernie, following a pit stop at the Legion. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The motorcyclists make their way out of Fernie, following a pit stop at the Legion. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The Rolling Barrage creeps into Fernie this past Thursday. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The Rolling Barrage creeps into Fernie this past Thursday. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Over 45 riders participated in the Elk Valley stretch of this year’s Rolling Barrage. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Over 45 riders participated in the Elk Valley stretch of this year’s Rolling Barrage. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Local event participant, Nigel Colley, prepares to drive to the next destination. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Local event participant, Nigel Colley, prepares to drive to the next destination. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

A number of Fernie’s first responders were present at the event. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

A number of Fernie’s first responders were present at the event. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The Rolling Barrage was full of men and women from all over Canada. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The Rolling Barrage was full of men and women from all over Canada. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Paul Boulanger and Scott Gullion share smiles at this year’s pit stop in Fernie. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Paul Boulanger and Scott Gullion share smiles at this year’s pit stop in Fernie. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Event organizer, April Atherton, stands alongside her brother and longtime participant of the Rolling Barrage, Nigel Colley. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Event organizer, April Atherton, stands alongside her brother and longtime participant of the Rolling Barrage, Nigel Colley. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Scott Gullion stands proudly next to his motorcycle. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Scott Gullion stands proudly next to his motorcycle. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The event in Fernie drew together over 45 cyclists who raised awareness and funds for those struggling with PTSD. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The event in Fernie drew together over 45 cyclists who raised awareness and funds for those struggling with PTSD. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

A veteran and rider corralled the cyclists upon entering Fernie. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

A veteran and rider corralled the cyclists upon entering Fernie. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The riders came from all over the country in an effort to raise awareness for PTDS. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The riders came from all over the country in an effort to raise awareness for PTDS. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Nigel Colley, a veteran and participant in the ride, connected with his fellow riders. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Nigel Colley, a veteran and participant in the ride, connected with his fellow riders. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

The plans for the the FFHS's latest project. (Image contributed)
Construction well underway on FFHS’s latest project

Contributed by Gayle Vallance President, FFHS Since 2000 the Fernie Family Housing… Continue reading

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
MSA Update: Elk Valley fortunate in recruiting

President of the MSA Dr Chalmers-Nixon said new hires were closing gaps in the valley’s medical services

The Holy Family Catholic Church. (Photo Contributed)
Italian bake sale fundraises for the Holy Family Church

The Fernie Catholic Women’s League is running the tasty sale from Dec. 2 until Dec. 19

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Most Read