What is the most rewarding aspect of the work that you do on behalf of Veterans and their families?
The most rewarding thing is taking care of our veterans, like especially my brothers and sisters at arms that are in need. The most rewarding thing that I was saying a while ago is having somebody come up to me and it happened a few times, and giving me a big hug and whispering in my ear “thank you very much you saved my life… you kept a parent for their children,” that really affects me a lot, you know, positively, and gives me the drive to keep on going what I do all the time.
I tried to suicide myself in 2009 and it didn’t have the help, well, no it’s not true it’s not because I didn’t have the help, it was probably because I didn’t want the help, I was like too macho kind of man to ask for help and all that and basically having this help after that just gave me the drive to keep on giving to others what I receive, which is so important for me, and I think it’s important that they know that I’m there, my brothers and sisters at arms, and at the same time I need them too, to bring back the energy to help everybody out and to support them as much as I can.
Right now concentrating on the homeless veterans and their families especially, we’re realizing that there’s a lot of them and right now I met a great person that I call a great friend of mine, an angel, Colonel honorary Colonel Steve Greggory with the campaign “Respect,” which is fantastic helping out all these homeless right now. In Quebec City I probably now control, not control but really prevent, we do a lot of prevention right now and there’s none; we took away at least eight or nine out of the city right now so they’re now really established and they’re great and all that but we got a lot of work to do in Montreal, I’d say probably Ottawa, not too sure there’s a lot of them right now and I know the West Coast and the west side like you know in Calgary and all that…
We celebrated something a few days ago, put a monument up for the… in Kirkland, Quebec City, Montreal and we did a monument for respecting these people, the homeless people and all that and it’s part of my story right now, I got a lot of stuff, I receive a lot, and I want to give back to them, I want to give back to my brothers and sisters at that need that and I think no one, no veteran, no brother and sister at arms, no first respondents should be on the street. People have served for us and it’s in our, its in my duty right now to serve back for them. I’ve served my country, and now it’s to serve back these people that need me probably and I need them as much, even those moments bring me something, they bring me this positive energy every day that I do it.
The Canadian Peacekeepers Day, which is August 9th, which I think right now we need to do it again. I stopped it in 2013, it was really hard for me but I want to re-do it, I’m not sure I’m going to do it in Quebec City so I’ll probably do it in Montreal and one day my dream, and it’s going to be the first time I’ll be saying it, is to do it in Ottawa and doing it in front of fifty thousand blue beret people and veterans, which is Afghanistan, anybody that served under UN, NATO, the international security NORAD, if I could get fifty thousand people, it is a dream and it will come true, the creator is going to help me out and people around me will help me out to get this dream come true, it could be in 2020, it could be in 2025, but August 9th will be one day in Ottawa, I’ll have fifty thousand veterans together saying yes we can do it, yes we are all behind each other, and we can do this thing, we could help each other out.
Thank you, Mr. Lafontaine!