Our hosts Michael Nellis and Kristian Kelly introduced stories from our reporters on topics from the poppy campaign to the impacts of post-traumatic stress and how it can be eased. We heard how and why images of poppies had been cascading down the walls of the Parliament Buildings, and how a local window-dresser helps merchants keep Christmas commercialism at bay and guard space for showing respect to Remembrance Day and all it means. Our reporter Kat Topinka brought us the hard story of former firefighter Jason Burd — and his service dog Blaze, who is helping Burd’s struggle with PTSD. Reporter Andrew Savory took us to visit a man who had struggled with depression to the brink of ending his life — but is now walking back from that brink, one day at a time. Andrew followed this with an in-depth look at the issues of men’s mental health — the toll their troubles can take, and what help is out there. We then learned from reporter Marissa Kocent why “therapy chickens” are a thing in the Women Warriors’ Healing Garden for women veterans and first responders who have lived through trauma, and found out in another story about new programs and funding to support military members transitioning back to society after service. perhaps unconventional directions: heavy metal bands holding a benefit concert in Ottawa to raise funds for the Veteran’s Transition Network of Canada, and local brewers who’ve named their business for the Battle of Vimy Ridge. And we had stories of service being given in return, in thanks: volunteers who clean the grave headstones of veterans who’ve passed away; a local poet who writes stirring tributes to those who fought and were lost; and a university in Newfoundland that’s a living memorial to the tragedy of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the even vaster tragedy that swallowed the regiment almost whole. An Indigenous veteran shared stories with us of how he enjoyed his years of service, including tense peacekeeping in Cyprus, and reporter Arvin Joaquin told us of another kind of life-and-death struggle: spreading information to villagers in Guatemala that could save the lives of new mothers living in basic conditions. And we travelled back in history with reporter Bronwyn Beairsto, back to November 1918 — not to Europe where Death was about to stand down with the Armistice, but to the northeast Pacific, along the Alaska panhandle, were it stalked a steamship heading southward. It’s the little-known story of the SS Princess Sophia shipwreck at the end of the First World War, the worst maritime accident in the history of B.C. and Alaska — and a huge disaster in particular for the sparsely populated Yukon: Some estimates say one in 10 non-Indigenous Yukoners of that day were lost when this ship sank. Losing one in ten is the original literal definition of “being decimated”… All that and much more on the Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, installment of Midweek — our special Remembrance Day edition.
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