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Master Corporal (Retd) Jonathan Thériault

It was with a heavy heart that Jonathan Thériault had to leave the Canadian Armed Forces after 12 years of loyal service. He knew to seek help during a difficult transition and, today, thanks to his selection to Team Canada for the 2023 Invictus Games, he has regained the sense of belonging and identity that he lost.

Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick


Master Corporal (Retd) Jonathan Thériault




  • Valcartier, Quebec


  • 2007 Afghanistan

Born and raised in northern New Brunswick, Jonathan Thériault joined the army in 2002 and was soon posted to Valcartier with the Royal 22 Regiment, 2nd Battalion.

In 2007, at just 24 years old, he was deployed to Afghanistan. Shortly after arriving, he and his company were tasked with taking over a mountain. After a day of combat, his company finally gained control of their position. However, his company’s victory was quickly overshadowed by the events that followed.

“My own injuries were diagnosed after I returned from Afghanistan because they are on the inside.

When the convoy reached the top of the mountain, Thériault’s vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. Miraculously, he survived without any apparent injuries, however, the others in the vehicle were not so lucky.

“Two of my fellow solders died, in addition to our interpreter. Multiple people were injured. My own injuries were diagnosed after I returned from Afghanistan because they are on the inside,” Jonathan poignantly recalls.

Coming back was difficult. At first, he did not dare speak about it and sought counselling in secret. “I was afraid of being rejected, sidelined. Labelled a problem case. I did not want to lose my position or the chance de progress in rank,” he says. In the end, family issues prompted him to seek help. Jonathan was fortunate to be well supported by his physician and a physiotherapist. A diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder is what led to the end of his career, after 12 years of service.

“Although the explosion was terrible, leaving the Forces was the worst thing I’ve been through. Unfortunately, it was not my decision.”

Jonathan struggled with the transition to civilian life and describes losing a sense of belonging and identity after his release. For someone who had always loved being part of a team, now he was alone. “It was a major transition. There is a tendency to withdraw into one’s shell, to keep to oneself. The best thing you can do is to stop avoiding things and ask for help. Someone will be there for you—help is there, you just need the strength to seek it out.”

“Jyna is always there for me and will be the first to cheer me on from the stands!”

Though this was a difficult time, he sought professional help and the support of his family, which has made his recovery process easier. In fact, his family will be front and centre to root for him in Germany when he represents Team Canada at the Invictus Games.

“My wife will be there to encourage me. She is the reason I am able to function. You know, when you’re dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, you’re never really over it. There are good days and bad days. Jyna is always there for me and will be the first to cheer me on from the stands!”

As a child, Jonathan dreamt of joining the Olympics. So he sees the Invictus Games as a chance to live out his dreams, while also showing his children that anything is possible.

Throughout his preparation for the Games, Jonathan has regained that sense of belonging and identity that he lost after retiring from the military. He says that the Invictus Team has formed an exceptional group, where they all support each other through their various challenges.

“What I’m most looking forward to is representing my country, and proudly wearing the Canadian flag while giving 100% for my team. For me, the flag means so much.”

At the 2023 Invictus Games, Jonathan will proudly represent his country in archery, rowing, and wheelchair rugby.

Jonathan Thériault holds a ball during a wheelchair volleyball game at the 2023 Invictus Games Training Camp

Jonathan Thériault for Team Canada, Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023.

With courage, integrity and loyalty, Jonathan Thériault has left his mark. He is one of our Canadian Veterans. Discover more stories.

If you are a Veteran, a family member or a caregiver who needs mental health support, the VAC Assistance Service is available to you 24/7, 365 days a year, at no cost. Call 1-800-268-7708 to speak to a mental health professional today.

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