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A Friendship Inspired through Invictus

Heroes Remember

A Friendship Inspired through Invictus

(Jason Israel) – Anybody who’s a Veteran or a VAC member who has had any injury deserves a chance at this. That’s the way it is. It’s not if you are missing a limb or you serve one day or you served a thousand days. It’s not like that. It’s if you served and you are injured you deserve the right to apply for this. ( Cory Nowell)– Injured mentally or physically. (Jason Israel) – Yes, mentally or physically it doesn’t matter. You deserve the right. And I think that’s where this may be lost with some people like Cory. He’s thinking I am still serving. I don’t deserve this because I am not out yet. I still have my job. That doesn’t matter. He’s broken. He pretends he’s not. He thinks he’s a strong individual all the time. I see it every day and he needs it. Being part of Invictus last year what has that personally done for yourself and why do you feel it’s so strong to make that extra, that fellow comrade do the same? (Jason Israel) – So before my games I never told anybody I had PTSD. I have struggled with PTSD since 2005. I did two other deployments. I have done three in total to Afghanistan and I just struggled with it. And then one day my wife let me know that I was struggling with it. That’s when I decided I was going to make a difference. I was on my way out of the military and I said there has to be something else where I can stay connected because once you are out the military doesn’t really stay connected with you. The family, they have to move on, I get it, they have to move on so you are not totally connected. This is my way of being back and being connected. I went to my games, we had ninety competitors on Team Canada last year and I met a variety of people, unbelievable people. Some of them were athletes. There was a gentleman went who swam and didn’t win any medals. No one would have even noticed him but when you talk to him you so were engaged in him and his story was just so overwhelming and he told you I have PTSD and at the end of the day I was like I can tell him my story and say I have PTSD and be like I have PTSD because of what happened in my life. I am proud of what happened in my life. I don’t’ blame anybody but we can all move past it. Just because we have it doesn’t mean we have to stop, right? And that was what he was telling me and he was out for I think like twenty years and then he still came back and went swimming at the Invictus Games. I have done many interviews over my time and one of the questions I always pose is the camaraderie that soldiers share amongst the times when they are together and I am sitting here with the definition right in front of me about camaraderie and strength and power in an individual. Congratulations guys for that and to keep such a positive approach because I know the word broken has come up a few times and it can’t be easy. (Cory Nowell) – Me and Jay have a strong bond. Our wives have been best friends for a long time so we have gotten to know each other really well. And we are different trades too. He comes from the infanteer world, I am an artilleryman, you know, we don’t hold that against each other. (Jason Israel) – I am better but… (Laughter!) (Cory Nowell)– I start off almost every day by receiving a phone call from Jason saying, “Morning Capt., how you doing? How’s your day? Let’s have a good day, train hard!” Because there’s been times when I just, you know, the day didn’t start off so well because I got two young kids and a wife and we get tired and things aren’t always cheerful. So getting that phone call from Jay helped me refocus. That’s part of that comradeship, right? That has kept me focused on the games which reminds me of what’s important. I think we have to remember that we... It's easy to be grumpy, to be frumpy and to be down everyday. It takes work to bring somebody up. And that's the key. That's what makes us all teammates and brings us closer. You have to step out of your own little box and say, "How can I make somebody's life different today?" And I try that every day with Cory. I call and I say, "What's up Captain Invictus?" No matter what kind of day he's having, he ends up smiling by the time I get off the phone. And I think more people need to start doing that. And honestlywith PTSD it's easy to want to sit in my basement and go into a dark hole, it is. But if I bring a lght in just a little tiny bit it makes me feel that much better

Cory and Jay share a very positive and inspirational message about the bond that exists amongst comrades yet the opportunities Invictus Games can give to those injured by service.

Cory Nowell

Mr. Cory Nowell was born in Prince George, BC in 1973. After high school Cory considered joining the military and at age 24 joined with the Artillery regiment presently known as 4th Artillery Regiment General Support. Cory took on the rank of warrant officer with his occupation of drone operator/mission commander. While training in the Arctic, 2008, Cory was given an opportunity to deploy to Afghanistan. Warrant Officer Nowell is a still serving member and currently located at the Royal Canadian Artillery School at CFB in Gagetown, N.B. With inspiration from friend and fellow comrade, Warrant Officer Nowell has been selected to be part of Team Canada for Invictus Games 2018 where he will travel to Austraila and compete in the games. He currently resides in Rusagonis, New Brunswick with his wife and family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
September 27, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Cory Nowell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
4th Artillery Regiment General Support
Warrant Officer
Drone Operator/Mission Commander

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