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Walking The Same Path!

Heroes Remember

Walking The Same Path!

I think the most interesting part is that I didn’t know anyone on this hockey team that was put together and for me to step out of my comfort zone to come do this. I’m an outgoing person but to purposely come down to Kingston to play in this hockey game. It is kind of out of my realms of what I would probably normally do so it was a good test for me to go meet other Veterans. And I think the camaraderie that has already happened on the ice, you know, you are passing the puck around even though I don’t know the guy’s name who I am passing it to. We are all here doing the same thing for the love of, you know, sport, each other, the uniform, the paths that so many of us have walked. We have so much to share with each other, you know, what worked for you, what didn’t work for you, where are you at now? What do you want to be when you grow up is still one of my favourite questions to ask people? As a clinician person, PA now, I think the most important thing that I have gotten out of this so far is meeting these Veterans that are here and asking them what worked for you in your transition? What worked for you getting out? What do you wish you had in place that you didn’t get on your way out? Now I advocate on these guys behalf, you know, you’re doing that final medical to get them out of the military whether they are medically released or they are leaving because their service time is up. What resources are out there? Where are they moving to? How am I going to continue this person’s care? You know transition them whether they see a social worker, physic, whatever. What clubs are they involved in? Do they need AA or NA, what is there, where are they moving? Making sure those resources are in place before that Veteran whether they are leaving on their own accord of medically released whatever, to make sure they are set up for success afterwards. So what you hear about is that it wasn’t the same or it’s harder, the red tape, I don’t want anyone to struggle. I still, you know, the transition everyone is going to go through. Taking the uniform off in different ways and some people are going to be more excited than others and I never want any of my patients or people that I see to ever fall through the cracks. This year the string of suicides just… I don’t know if it just happened that I knew more this year than other years. I mean it’s in the news all the time. You hear that and I never, I always want to do the best I can with what I have. And to be here knowing first-hand what worked. There are guys that are just about to get out or recently got out, started a new business, “Hey what worked for you? How did you keep your groove going?” Oh well, when I got out I had this in place… There is so much knowledge to be gained here from a clinical point of view that I hope that I can set my current patients up that are getting out to make sure that they are successful and that I have done the best that I can for that soldier.

As a participant to Nations Heroes Hockey Event 2018, and still serving physician assistant, Vanessa shares her excitement for being a part of the team and having the chance to interact with fellow Veterans who have challenges in transitioning back to civilian life in hopes that her new role can improve that

Vanessa Larter

Ms. Vanessa Larter was born April 17, 1982 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. After graduating from high school Vanessa studied at UPEI and later made the choice to join the military as a medical technician. Her basic training took her to Gagetown, N,B, Camp Borden, Ontario for her first medical course, BC for paramedic school and then finally to settle with his first job in Edmonton, Alberta. She joined with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry with occupation of army medic. Along with In-Canada service Vanessa had two deployments to Afghanistan, 2006 and 2008. With a sixteen year career Vanessa is still in the military and resides at Camp Borden as a physician assistant holding rank of sergeant. Vanessa has great pride for her military service. She now resides in Ontario with her three children.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 27, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Vanessa Larter
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)
Army medic

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