Sergeant (Ret’d) Patrick Gordon

Born 7 January 1984 , Sergeant (Ret’d) Patrick Gordon grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick listening to stories of his grandfather Edward Thorne, who served in the Second World War with the Royal New Brunswick Regiment.

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Sergeant (Ret’d) Patrick Gordon

Gordon graduated high school and enlisted shortly afterwards, starting his basic training on 4 January 2004. After beginning his career as an infantryman, he switched paths and became an Armoured crewman. He later joined the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) in Edmonton, Alberta, where he trained as a heavy armour tank driver and tank gunner.

“I always wanted to be a soldier, my whole life, it was something I always wanted to be a part of.”

Gordon served in the Canadian Armed Forces for a total of 13 years, including three tours in Afghanistan (2006, 2008 and 2010). “I always wanted to be a soldier, my whole life, it was something I always wanted to be a part of.” During his initial tour, Gordon helped deliver the first tanks to Kandahar. Following the completion of this tour, he was uncertain about his military future. His contract was set to expire and he had just experienced the death of a comrade. After some deliberation, Gordon’s commitment to service and comradery became clear: “… there was no place in the world I’d rather be than with the Strathcona’s.”

Gordon’s second tour in Afghanistan would prove to be the most challenging. At first, his squadron was tasked with resupplying outposts along the Arghandab River, before the operation was abandoned because of serious risks. Gordon and his crew T23B received the Chief of Defence Staff Commendation for quickly completing one of these resupply missions. In September 2008, nine days before they were to return to Canada, Gordon’s squadron was leading a large vehicle convoy, when his vehicle struck an Improvised Explosive Device. The blast disabled his tank’s main gun, while the force of the explosion tore off the tank’s armour. The convoy continued with its operation and later arrived at camp where Gordon and his fellow soldiers, injured, were helicoptered to Kandahar a few days after the strike. Shortly afterwards, they returned to Canada.

During his third and final tour in Afghanistan, Gordon had the opportunity to see operations from the other side. He worked as a link between the Canadian Armed Forces and the Forward Operating Base, ensuring the women and men serving in his regiment were provided adequate food, ammunition and additional supplies.

Gordon was medically released from the CAF in October 2016.

Last year, one of Gordon’s friends encouraged him to apply for the Warrior Games. Despite not knowing much about the Games, Gordon submitted an application. Gordon continued to train daily, striving to maintain his level of fitness.

“I applied and got it. I was overwhelmed with excitement.”

In the lead up to the Warrior Games, Gordon was selected as the Ultimate Champion. As an Ultimate Champion, Gordon would compete in eight sporting events for Team Canada, and earn points based on his individual results in each event. Gordon began training extensively to ensure he was up to the task and his competition. He soon realized, however, Team Canada was more about the experience than the competition itself.

“Once I got there, my mentality changed. It wasn’t about winning. It wasn’t about medaling. It was about knowing that you are not alone in this fight.”

The Warrior Games made Gordon want to push harder and further than he had ever thought possible. “Once I got there, my mentality changed. It wasn’t about winning. It wasn’t about medaling. It was about knowing that you are not alone in this fight.” The comradery present at the Games reminded him of his time serving with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse. Gordon has high praise for the Soldier On program and its impact on the lives of Veterans. His experience has led to personal growth.

In honour of Veterans’ Week, Sergeant (Retired) Patrick Gordon is one of our Faces of Freedom. Gordon believes that Veterans’ Week is a time to pause and reflect on the courage and sacrifice of those who have fought for our freedom.


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