Tegh Singh isn’t letting the snow stop him from cycling through Calgary. The veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is cycling 100 kilometers through the city and raising funds for the Veterans Transition Network (VTN).
“When I first signed up for the Veterans Transition Network, which was a program that completely changed my life and saved my marriage, I found out about this program because I talked to alumni here at the Veterans Association Food Bank,” Singh said first. stage of his race on Saturday morning.
“Just a few years ago, I could barely get out of my house,” Singh said. “Now look at what I can do with just a little bit of support from these different organizations and how I give it back to the community and I think we can say that for a lot of veterans if we just rally around them. .”
One of his stops was at the Veterans Association Food Bank, another at the Dashmesh Cultural Center and Two Wheel View, a local cycling organization.
Singh said cycling, his faith and the support of other veterans were fundamental in healing from PTSD.
“I really wanted to come out and make a statement about the veteran community and show metaphorically and physically how far veterans can go when they have a little more support in their community,” said Singh who rides a lot further than the last year. when he raised funds for VTN by cycling to military memorials.
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Joining Singh through the snow and ice was Sven Stuwe, a volunteer mechanic with Two Wheel View. They became friends after Stuwe worked on one of Singh’s bikes. Singh said his friend was perfectly suited for the demanding ride.
“It’s a very big source of comfort to have him on the road – both with his expertise in cycling and on the road and also with that bond with him after, unfortunately, trauma,” Singh said. “He’s also an amazing friend.”
In May, Stuwe’s close friend Angela McKenzie was killed after she was the innocent victim of a targeted shooting.
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On May 10, 2022, police received multiple reports of two vehicles driving erratically along 36th Street SE while involved in a shooting. This resulted in one of the vehicles crashing into a van being driven by McKenzie at the intersection of 36th Street and 17th Avenue SE.
Talal Amer is still wanted on seven Canada-wide warrants related to the tragedy.
“Anger is something that flares up more often,” Stuwe said. “Sometimes there is sadness, but anger comes out when you think about how it happened and that person is gone and there is nothing you can do about it. I’m sure it’s similar to how veterans feel too.
On Saturday, the couple passed by where McKenzie died.
“For me, it’s a bit of anxiety,” Stuwe said. “You can’t help but look over your shoulder a bit more and make sure all the cars are stopped. I’m sure it’s tenfold or a hundredfold for military veterans.
“I wish there was more support. I wish we could do more for them because they really deserve it. They need that help and they’ve done a lot for us.
Stuwe said the trauma he feels cannot be compared to what veterans go through, but he added that the ride has helped him better understand the issues veterans face and what they are capable of.
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Singh said VTN is a “phenomenal organization” providing mental health support to veterans.
“Mental health is really at the center of many of the issues veterans face when they return to civilian life and VTN has an amazing program that addresses grief and trauma and many common issues that veterans face,” Singh said.
Other stops on the Saturday VTN Bike Ride include the Remmington YMCA, Homes for Heroes Veterans Housing, Military Museums, Peacekeeper Park and Battalion Park.
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