Vince Fowler isn't like any other speaker you've seen or heard. He commands respect, empathy, laughter, tears, curiosity, and more... and sometimes, all at the same time.
Growing up, largely with only his mother and grandmother, by the time Vince was in grade six and 11 years old he had attended 8 schools. Humour and being the class clown was his behaviour of choice as he navigated new relationships and environments... and at times, "my mouth wrote cheques my body had to cash."
The bullying Vince experienced started young and escalated when he failed grade two.
It was grade six, during a classmate's social studies presentation, when Vince first learned about WW II - specifically, paratroopers during the early hours of June 6th, 1944 jumping into Normandy, France on D-Day. It was the brave and courageous efforts of Canadian & Allied paratroopers that inspired Vince on that day join the military - "I am going to be a paratrooper so that no one will ever pick on my again, and no one will ever pick on others under my watch."
Vince joined the military in August 1989, attended Basic Training in CFRS Cornwallis, PPCLI Battle School that same year, and after his Basic Para Course on November 11th, 1991, Vince was posted to the Canadian Airborne Regiment in the summer of 1992 - ensuring Vince was then deployed to Somalia with his Regiment in December 92 - returning in June 1993.
"Somalia was my university education. I saw both the best and worst behaviours of mankind." - Vince Fowler
After 7 years of military service, Vince took his release in August 1996, working in the private sector. As of June 2011, Vince has been a professional coach to entrepreneurs leading successful companies.
Would you believe it would take 9 years post-military and the death of three close friends during their deployments to Afghanistan before Vince discovered the true meaning of love, service, and remembrance?
Through stories and pictures, and real talk that students lean into to hear, Vince not only shares the meaning of remembrance but inspires the audience to reset and connect to what it truly means to be Canadian, wear a poppy, and exercise the courage to pursue a life that's meaningful to them.