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A Part of Team Canada

Heroes Remember

A Part of Team Canada

I was going down a really dark tunnel because I was alone especially alone in a town where nobody could understand what I was going through. I mean my own psychologist, every time I would go in there he’s like, “This is just awful, how you are dealing with these things, how are you still here?” So just that sense of I am not alone and there are other people that have gone through this and there’s something we can do about it. It really made a big difference and last November this individual that I connected with, she called me and she said, “I really think that we should apply for Invictus!” And I was like, “Are you insane? I am not an athlete. Like I am broken. I can hardly get up my stairs like this is not happening." And she’s like, “No I really think wouldn’t it be amazing, look at what we’ve already done, we met randomly at this retreat, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could go to Invictus together?” And I was like, “It would be amazing!” And again, that same thing If I don’t do it now I’m not going to do it, paperwork all those types of things very very difficult for me. So I got off the phone and I went to the computer and I found the application and I filled out the application and then I kind of went, send! Right? Not thinking there was any chance, I mean they’re going to be looking for people who may be broken but that are like they got one super fit arm, and you know what I mean? I was just a mess. I was a mess. And, you know, I just kind of didn't really think about it for a long time and then the sort of selection letter day, because of course through our support group there was some people as well from the support group. So everyone is like, “Did you get your letter today?” “No!” And I’m like if I didn’t get a letter. But you got a letter regardless either it was a yes or a try again next year sort of thing. But I didn’t get any letter so I was thinking okay well that’s just, you know, that’s okay, it's good. I was good either way. I’m like the right person will get this position on this team. The person who needs this position will get this. And so the whole day went by and I was like this seems really strange. Everybody has got a letter so I contacted Soldier On and I said, “I’m just wondering, I’m sorry to bother you but do you know why I don’t have a letter?” And he’s like, “Oh no, no we sent it to you, like you’re on the team!” And I was like, “What, what do you mean I’m on the team?” So it had gone to like a junk mail and I just couldn’t believe it. And my friend contacted me and she had gotten on the team. I mean the odds of that are just unbelievable, really when you think of how many people applied for the team this year. For us both to be on the team was just like a meant to be kind of thing. And just grateful right? Just grateful to her for pushing me to do that because I wouldn’t have done it by myself and then just that kind of overwhelming like, okay I got to figure out how to be an athlete now! I think you’re given a new purpose. I mean I haven’t worn a uniform in over twenty years and to be given a shirt that says Canada on it in any way, shape or form, it’s kind of amazing. And I think we all had the same feeling like they’re going to send us a letter saying I’m sorry we made a really terrible mistake and we didn’t mean you. Honestly that’s how it felt. And so yesterday being on those bleachers and hearing those words, you know, that we deserve to be there. Just hearing that affirmation like you are broken in a different way then maybe some of the other people on this team but you still deserve to be here. That was pretty amazing?

Ms. Batek shares her personal and somewhat humorous story of how she became a part of Team Canada for the 2018 games in Australia.

Monica Batek

Ms. Monica Batek was born March 27, 1975 in Calgary, Alberta. After high school Monica was very adamant in making the military her career choice and at age 17 joined the Reserves with 746 Communication squadron as a private. Shortly into her training, some unfortunate circumstance of assault occurred where she was driven to choose a different career path. Ms. Batek decided to continue on and was accepted to Royal Military College under the Officer Cadet program where she did graduate. While on exercise, Ms. Batek became injured during training exercise, this being a crucial part of her reason for discharge from the military. Struggling with PTSD and leg injury, Ms. Batek continues on and most recently was named as part of Team Canada for Invictus Games 2018 and compete as an athlete as a swimmer and member of wheelchair basketball. Ms. Batek is proud of this accomplishment and feels very honoured to be able to wear the Canadian maple leaf on her uniform once again!

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
July 25, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Monica Batek
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Officer Cadet
Infantry Officer

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