Speaker Bio:
James Michaud-Irvine

Speaks:

English

Speaking Topics:

Army; Conflict in Afghanistan; Domestic Service; Canadian Armed Forces; Careers; PTSD

My service to the Canadian Armed Forces began on 5 March, 2002 and lasted until 16 July, 2008.

I was employed as a LAV III Gunner within the Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Predominantly, my career was spent within 2 PPCLI as a part of Bravo Company where I had the privilege of serving Canada on Op Archer, ROTO 1 in Kandahar, Afghanistan from 22 January to 16 August, 2006.

Throughout the duration of my tour, I rolled as a part of company headquarters in the heavy weapons detachment and saw extensive combat from March until August when I left country. War wasn't all we saw, though. I got to partake in many humanitarian missions to very austere villages helping deliver medical, veterinary and dental care to local villagers.

Aside from my tour in Afghanistan, I have done domestic operations on 2 occasions working disaster relief stints in British Columbia through the summers of 2002 and 2003 fighting forest fires.

My time within the military is full of great memories, with great people, doing something that I loved to do. Unfortunately, though, war took its toll on my mind and I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2011. It is a battle that far exceeds any challenge I've faced, but I'm very proud of the work I've done with a great team helping me along the way.

Today, I work in the world of finance, self-employed trading in securities. I have a wonderful wife and two step-children. Over Christmas of 2018 I was blessed with a daughter who is my living miracle. She reminds me every day of just how far I've come and to never take for granted everything that had to happen to get her here to her mother and I.

I've learned that life is a blessing. A gift. That's why we refer to it as the present. I think about everywhere I've been and everything I've done and everyone I've met along my journey on a daily basis. Some were taken far too early, but I feel blessed to have had them in my life if only for a brief while. In any event, we had a wild ride together. One that won't every be forgotten and I feel honored to share some of it with you.

The Memory Project includes a community of over 1,500 veterans and Canadian Forces members who are committed to sharing their stories of service.

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