War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

They Made It To Antarctica!!


Corporal Alexandre Beaudin-D’Anjou, SMS and Master Corporal Chris Downy at Canada House, London, 10 November, 2013

the two lads I met at Canada House in London last November have made it to the South Pole

after meeting them in November, I never doubted for one minute that they’d fail to achieve their objection. because with help, lots of help they can make it, and this is what MCpl Downy said about his own recovery, how much help he’d had along the way.

but it also takes inner fortitude, family and friends who NEVER give up. but here’s the deal. these boys have faced their mortality, and have fought back. and had the support they need (and will continue to need).

well it’s Xmas. a laden time even for the jolliest at times. well I don’t know about you, but as we’ve headed into the dark months, the news has come (to me via an ex-military contact) about several young vets who haven’t been able to carry on. for many reasons they chose not to live. their soldier’s heart gave up I guess (I refuse to call it PTSD – it’s more than a collection of symptoms, and rather than being a “disorder”, it might actually be a natural reaction to unnatural occurrences).

someone I know who works closely with vets (and a few civilian contractors who went to A’stan), regularly visits vets who hang out in the woods. they simply can’t cope with humanity anymore. and this person I know, fairly frequently loses another of his vets.

so I guess I want to celebrate the boys who made it to the Antarctica because both of them acknowledged their challenges, their soldier’s hearts, and with great fortitude, got out of those hospital beds, and began to face the world one step at a time – all the way to the South Pole. and if anyone for one instance accuses them or a project like this as being propaganda or vanity project, or of perpetrating the “hero myth”, I challenge them. I looked directly into the face of the young one who had endured who knows how many facial surgeries after losing his close friend in an IED blast, and the face of the one whose back was blown apart by an IED on patrol, and whose eyes still carry “that look”, and I say, “bullshit” to cynics, “you have no idea as to who these men are, why they have done what they have done, what they have been through, and where they are going”

MCpl Downy’s spoke in November that he hoped that if he could influence just one war wounded person who didn’t want to get out of bed, who felt life was over, actually to gt out of bed, then this Antarctica trek was worth it. an Antarctica trek is one hell of a way to argue a case for choosing life Chris, but I’m going to put a picture of you boys on my bedroom door, and I’m going smile at you. every single time I don’t want to get up! Congratulations.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled They Made It To Antarctica!!. It was posted here on December 14, 2013.

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