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Inspiration for Invictus Games

Invictus Games

Inspiration for Invictus Games

A comrade of mine, Chris Klodt, in Afghanistan he was shot is playing here in the Invictus Games. That man should never have been able to walk again. He’s lucky to be alive. I reconnected with him a couple of years ago and now I am sitting here watching that man, his wife, his two sons watch him while he’s out there playing wheelchair rugby and literally smashing and flipping over and getting up with a smile on his face from ear to ear because of the excitement. That man gives me motivation to continue standing six feet tall and continue doing. I love Chris beyond and you know and for him to be competing in these games today is an absolute miracle. Interviewer: Here you took on a different role, yes you are a Veteran but you’re a volunteer for the Invictus Games. So for someone like yourself I can only wonder why was it so important for you to feel it necessary to be a part of this? Well the initial phases was because Chris was competing. To be able to be here and to support Chris in what he’s doing now. I mean, just the fact that he’s able to move around and do what he’s doing and engage with his family, I mean why am I going to sell myself short when he’s living his life, like he’s happy. He’s going at it, you know. I don’t have the physical problems that he has so get over yourself Collin because you know what, things could be a lot worse. The man has motivated the hell out of me to get on with my life and start living my life instead of wanting to end my life. And what an amazing thing that has happened in this place. What an amazing thing. I would have never have been able to come into an environment as busy as this one within the last few years and been able to function. It just wouldn’t have happened. I started getting phone calls. I started getting messages over Facebook from people that I haven’t seen for years. Medic Vanessa Larter, you know, reconnecting with her, what a powerful, powerful thing that has happened here. I wouldn’t have been here in the capacity and been able to engage with the people and just meeting all the people. The Invictus Games and what Prince Harry has started has literally given me such a boost that it’s beyond anything that any book, doctor, or anybody in the educated world could have told me. It’s the one on one conversations that I am engaging with people. Meeting people, running into people that I haven’t seen for years, it’s just I don’t know how else to explain it but simply empowering. The best injection of life that I’ve ever had up to this point is being encased in this environment here.

Collin shares his reasons for volunteering at the Invictus Games and the inspiration it has given him to stay united with his fellow comrades.

Collin Fitzgerald

Mr. Collin Fitzgerald was born in Ottawa March 14, 1979. At the age of 8, Collin’s parents encouraged him to join the Cadet Program leading him towards becoming a reservist. At the age of 17 and with the inspiration of World War Two and Korea Veterans, Collin made the decision to transfer over to Regular Force joining the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He rose to the rank of Master Corporal after his 15 years of military service. In 2000 he attended battle school in Wainwright, Alberta, then posted to Winnipeg. In September of that same year he accepted a deployment to Bosnia. In 2006, Mr. Fitzgerald attached himself to 5 Platoon B Company and deployed to Afghanistan under the regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Experiencing intense combat during his time in Afghanistan, Mr. Fitzgerald was presented the Sacrifice Medal for his services and courageous acts of duty towards his fellow comrades. Upon discharge from the military, Mr. Fitzgerald suffered with PTSD and with the help of many supporters he was able to reintegrate into civilian life. He presently is highly involved in giving back to the military community and is a strong advocate for Highway of Heroes and many other service related initiatives. Mr. Fitzgerald now resides in Kingston, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
September 27, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Collin Fitzgerald
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

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