View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst is taking part in the upcoming Wounded Warrior Run B.C., he says, to pay tribute to his elders and help his children in the future.
Hurst is part of a team of first responders and military personnel running the length of Vancouver Island Feb. 27 to March 6 to heighten awareness of mental health issues in the service, and to raise funds to provide veterans with supports. The eight members will run the 640-kilometre distance relay style, with each running between 10 and 20 kilometres a day. Hurst has been training for the event since September.
Hurst’s great grandfather, grandfather and father served in the military and his daughter is currently enrolled at Royal Military College. Hurst said the run will help create awareness of the issues, pay tribute to service members and help ensure support is available for his daughter and others in future.
“These are difficult jobs that we do. There are traumatic events, there is a lot of death. There is a lot of horrific, traumatic injuries and scenes, and we’re human,” he said. “These repeated repeated scenes. They take a toll and if they don’t take a toll, then you’re not human.”
Hurst acknowledged people’s comments that the run will be really tough for him. “I’m thinking to myself, not as tough as what my great grandfather went through – it’s not even a blip on the radar what he went through.”
The run begins in Port Hardy Feb. 27 and winds up in Victoria March 6. A one-day run is also planned to go from Sooke to Sidney on Sunday, Feb. 6. The fundraising goal is $250,000.
For more information, visit woundedwarriors.ca/community-events/ and click on Wounded Warrior Run BC.