Remembrance, Careers, Technology, PTSD, Careers, Military History
Born and raised in Whitecourt; a small Alberta town northwest of Edmonton, Kyle joined the army in 2001 as a Combat Engineer. After completing basic training in Quebec he was posted to the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick. Following his time in eastern Canada, Kyle was then posted to 1 Combat Engineer Regiment (CER) at CFB Edmonton. Employed with 1 CER, Kyle held positions as section member, section driver, section LAV gunner and regimental ammo non-commission officer (NCO). During his time with the regiment, Kyle was deployed to the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Alberta and deployed twice to Afghanistan. His first tour in 2004/2005 he was on Roto 2 of Op Athena in Kabul. His second deployment took him to Kandahar in 2006 as a part of the Task Force 1-06 Battlegroup, again as a LAV gunner. Following a hard tour in Kandahar, Kyle learned he was being awarded a Mention in Dispatches for actions in Helmand province in August 2006. After returning from Kandahar, Kyle was diagnosed with PTSD and eventually was medically released from the military in 2008. He then took advantage of the available mental health options and moved back home to Whitecourt, where his mental health journey continued. Following his release from the military Kyle joined the local Royal Canadian Legion. There he bonded with other veterans from all generations and became more involved in advocating for veteran’s rights and helping others with their service related injuries; both mental and physical. Kyle continues to volunteer with the Legion and is currently in his second term as Branch President. A large component of Kyle’s journey healing from PTSD, he had to learn to accept the things that happened and be able to talk about those things in a constructive manner. He soon learned what helped the most was speaking to youth groups and school children. Kyle truly feels that educating our youth is the most important tool veterans have; protecting history and educating our youth and citizens about the sacrifices made by our veterans. Nine years later, he continues to speak to kids and enjoys each opportunity to engage with as many as he can. In addition to speaking engagements, Kyle works through the Legion to help with veterans receive the support they need, such as medical, pension, and ensuring their families are taken care of. As a fourth-generation veteran, engaging with youth and other veterans provides Kyle closure and also allows him to contribute to his community and fellow veterans on a daily basis. In 2016, Kyle was awarded the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs Commendation for his work with the Legion, volunteerism and his efforts towards veteran’s support and remembrance.