Quesnel rancher Paul Nichols rode into Abbotsford on Friday as part of a cross-Canada horseback ride to introduce a new generation of veterans to the public and seek their support.
The ride launched Monday in Victoria and Nichols completed the Abbotsford leg of the ride with Dave McAllister.
Nichols, who served with Canadian troops during ethnic warfare in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s is accompanied by other B.C. veterans and his wife Terry, a therapeutic riding instructor, Nichols plans to connect with 700 veterans in an eight-month journey ending in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
“That awareness will create change, and with that change I believe that we can lower the incidence and severity of post-traumatic stress disorder, lower the incidence of family breakup and I think we can lower the incidence of veteran suicide,” Nichols said.
The ride includes stops in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope, Princeton, Summerland, Kelowna, Vernon and Armstrong before continuing into Alberta in May.
For more information the ride, and to follow its progress, see their website at www.communitiesforveterans.com.