Hitting the Road with PTSD – No Uniform Required

It was exactly a year ago, Canada Day 2013, that I first said out loud “I think I might have PTSD.”

I was watching the Canada Day parade in Bath, Ontario, just outside of Kingston with my boyfriend Dave and my Mom.

It might have been a mini-cannon in a little bathtub on wheels, and even though I knew it was about to fire, every “BOOM!” made me wince and soon I was in tears. I was wearing sunglasses so I don’t know if Dave or Mom noticed I was crying when I made the PTSD comment.

In a few minutes I’m about to hit the road on my quilt-on-wheels motorcycle (aka Cupcake) to spend the rest of the summer in Newfoundland and to celebrate Canada Day I’ve decided to wear my Kandahar Ball Busters jersey. The Ball Busters were the only women’s ball hockey team in Kandahar Airfield during the four years I worked there. We had so much fun playing. Didn’t win a single game against the guys, but we always had the biggest audience turnouts especially when we played the NHL alumni in the spring of 2011.

You could tell we were having fun from all the photos taken of us.

Kandahar Ball Busters

Since then, I know more than a few of us have had a hard time after returning to Canada.

This morning on Live 88.5 I heard the announcement, “For all those who have fallen, thank you for Canada Day.”

I know Canadians support all the veterans who have come home from Afghanistan, but I don’t know if everyone is aware that many of us who lived and worked over there were not in uniform; at least not a uniform that is recognized by the public.

This Canada Day, and the days that follow – please remember you can thank the fallen now by helping those who may be stumbling and in need of support today. No uniform required.

Happy Canada Day.


Today I’m driving my bike to Amesbury, MA to visit a dear friend. On July 2nd I hope to be in Saint John, NB, July 3rd – 4th in Halifax, NS then onto to Cape Breton on the 5th and take the ferry to Port Aux Basques on the 6th. If all goes well I’ll be seeing my Dad’s family by the 7th and will have the summer to catch up with my Mom’s family and my friends.

I’m so fortunate to be able to take this trip and look forward to my odd job adventures. Thank you to my friends, my family and for these fine folks for making this possible:

Shaun from HardKnockChops

Jon from CycleMaster

And a special thank you to Louise Ibeault whom I had the pleasure of meeting through the New Edinburgh Community Alliance. Louise is a wonderful and warm photographer and was so encouraging at a time when I really needed it. Thank you for making Cupcake and me look so good. 🙂

Cupcake & Judy 1

Cupcake & Judy 2