Scott Casey, president of Military Minds, dips the wheel of this donated Indian motorcycle in the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s NL Aug. 5, to kick off the cross-county Rolling Barrage motorcycle ride to raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The ride comes to Lloydminster Aug. 15 with a reception and dinner at Rock Creek Tap & Grill. GEOFF LEE LSS PHOTO
Rolling Barrage to make stop in Border City during cross-Canada tour
Lloydminster will become a host city for Canadian military and first responder personnel suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for the second time in less than a month.
About 40-50 motorcyclists are expected to rumble into the city on Aug. 15, as a part of a 15-day cross country mission called the Rolling Barrage, to increase awareness of PTSD in our military.
The event will follow Wounded Warriors Weekend, which was held July 27-30 to help about 120 Canadian and U.S. military members and first responders heal from the effects of PTSD.
“The biggest thing is awareness,” said Major Rob Truscott from Edmonton, who is helping Alberta ride coordinator Brett Gale to spread awareness in the province.
“That’s the whole point of all these groups—if we just keep it in people’s minds, then people are aware of it—then they are not afraid of it,” said Truscott.
“The more we can educate, the better people can understand.”
The Rolling Barrage travels from St. John’s Newfoundland to Victoria B.C. Aug. 5-20 and is the brainchild of Military Minds Inc., a non-profit PTSD military support organization.
Military Minds is headed by Scott Casey, a Canadian military vet and a PTSD survivor.
Casey is also a friend of Truscott, who was a former air navigator on Sea King Helicopters.
It was Truscott who introduced Alberta’s Gale to the ride and Military Minds.
Casey, Gale and Truscott are all expected to be in Lloydminster when the tour rolls through.
Rolling Barrage is billed as a show of brotherhood, strength and unity to conquer the stigma of PTSD.
Truscott does not suffer from PTSD himself, but he is being treated for bladder cancer.
He is currently assigned to the Joint Personnel Support Unit in Edmonton, which helps injured and ill Canadian Armed Forces members.
“I’ve been using my time to support non-profit groups like Military Minds by helping them organize events,” said Truscott.
He’s also part of the national planning team for the inaugural Rolling Barrage, with his focus on the Lloydminster to Edmonton leg of the ride through Alberta.
“Right now, we’ve got 18 people who are going right across Canada,” he said, noting the ride is open to all riders and is not just military in nature.
“Because people can join for just one day at a time, we’re expecting up to 50 people in Lloydminster.”
Truscott said the idea for the first year of the event is to keep it simple and keep it successful with a small group.
“Build on success and don’t try to shoot for the moon too quickly,” he said.
“If we only have 50 bikes out, it’s a really small parade, whereas, if Wounded Warriors has 150 people, it’s more of an event.”
The main convoy of riders will be coming our way from Regina.
The party will be given a police escort from the Lloydminster Visitor Information Centre to the Hampton Inn at 5 p.m. on Aug. 15, and Rock Creek Tap & Grill will host the group for an evening meal.
The following morning, the Rolling Barrage will head to Wainwright for lunch at the local legion via Highway 14, then on to Edmonton.
The Rolling Barrage will be treated to a free concert with Julian Austin at the Blackjacks Roadhouse & Games Room in Nisku.
The event is named after the rolling artillery barrage Canadian-led forces used with success at the battle of Vimy Ridge 100 years ago during the First World War.
That rolling barrage of fire allowed the attackers to walk up the hill under artillery cover and take control within a short timeframe.