Who Are You – Tobey Kai

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Using music as rehabilitation, a talented Calgary musician overcomes a Traumatic Brain Injury, and is an inspiration for others.

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Before last year my social media experience was limited to Facebook, but that changed last year when I decided that the time had come for me to do something different with my life. Having a larger presence on social media would go a long way towards accomplishing the things that I wanted to do, so I now have accounts across several platforms.

An Instagram account was a no brainer, and I soon found out that there was more to this app than just the Kardashians and other assorted “influencers” (I can’t believe they get paid for this shit, honestly). As I scrolled through the accounts that Instagram thought I’d be interested in, one stood out.

I was first drawn in by her photo. She is possessed of those qualities that are highly desired by those shallower aspects that are inherent to men. In short I thought she was hot. I started to follow her and checked out her profile. She was a local girl with an incredible musical talent, university educated, and she had also suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. I needed to find out more about this intriguing person, named Tobey Kai.

Natural talent

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From Tobey Kai’s Facebook page.

Tobey’s musical talents come naturally, both of her parents are musicians who came to Canada in the mid-’80’s. From a young age, she showed an interest in music, taking her first piano lesson at only 6years old. She says that her singing abilities came from her mother, who also sings opera.

The family would come to Calgary by way of Vancouver, and Tobey continued to study music, enhancing her natural born talent. She has a younger brother, and an “adopted sister” who has been in her life since her teen years.

You might think that Tobey would pursue a music education at the Alberta College of Art, but her interests also extend beyond music. Instead, she has not one but TWO bachelor’s degrees, and they have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other, holding degrees in biology and economics.

Animal lover

Courtesy Facebook

http://tobeykai.com/

Equal to her passion for music is her passion for animals. She combines the two at her music studio where she gives private music and singing lessons. She has resident cats and dogs that will like to come and visit while she’s giving lessons, and she mentions this on her website giving anyone who might have allergies a heads up.

Conservation of the world’s oceans is another one of her causes and she is an advocate for the world’s sharks, whose populations have nearly been wiped out in Asia due to poaching. Shark fin soup has long been a delicacy in some Asian countries, but ever decreasing numbers have led to the dish been banned.


All life is precious. Meet Freyja, one of my many daughters I’ve had the honour of caring for over the years. A ferocious predator (not unlike a shark), but has never struck me because I haven’t given her reason to. 
Don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand. 
#alllifematters

To her, all life is precious, and she would soon come to know just exactly how very precious it is. On the home page of her website, you can listen to a song she wrote called “Ondine”, which she has dedicated to ocean and shark conservation.

A cagey polyglot

As if all of this weren’t impressive enough, she also speaks fluent German. I figure that she would be able to carry out lengthy conversations in at least three languages: English, Mandarin, and German. I ask her how many languages she can speak, and she’s coy about answering saying only that she “does dabble in a few languages”. Based on what I’ve learned about her so far, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that she could single-handedly interpret a meeting of the UN Security Council.

https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18021109522098021/

Touched by Alzheimers

In 2017 Tobey began writing a song about her grandfather, whom she lost to Alzheimer’s disease. Called “Who Are You”, it recounts her grandfather’s final words to her “Who are you, young lady? Are you lost?” It is a poignant song about an experience that many families go through, and can relate to. It would be several months before she would record the song however. At the beginning of 2018, something would happen that had a lasting and profound effect on her life.

Who Are You – Written for Alzheimer’s and brain injury awareness.

Everything changes in an instant

For Tobey, recreation is something done outdoors no matter what season it is and whether it’s on a bike or a snowboard, physical activity is just as much a part of her life as music. She’s as much at home on the back of a bicycle as she is on a snowboard, and it was while enjoying a day on the latter that things would change forever.

Sunday, January 14th was a pleasant day to be in the mountains, with temperatures only a couple degrees below zero. Deciding to take advantage of the beautiful weather, Tobey decided to go snowboarding at Nakiska that day. At the end of her first run, when she got to the bottom of the hill, she slipped and fell to the ground.

Moments later a skier collided with her, impacting her left temple. Almost immediately, she knew that something was very wrong. She had lost feeling below her neck, her fingers were twitching, and she knew that she was bleeding from somewhere underneath her helmet. Emergency crews were able to stabilize her and transport her to Calgary by ground ambulance. She remembers much of the hour long ride back to the city, but some memories are gone.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

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Image result for subarachnoid space

Your brain is covered by a thick, fibrous membrane called dura mater. Beneath the dura mater is the archnoid mater, under which cerebralspinal fluid helps to cushion the brain. A tear in a blood vessel can cause blood to accumulate in this space, putting pressure on the brain. Surgery may have to be performed to drain the blood and stop the hemorraging.

The odds of making a full recovery are against someone with a subarachnoid hemorrage as only one third of patients will have a good out come, another third will survive but with a disability, and the remaining third will die.

Nothing short of miraculous

For a very brief time Tobey was comatose, but she wouldn’t be unconscious for long. For the first few weeks, she was unable to walk and had to re-learn how. Her neck was also injured, and she would find talking painful. She began to wonder if she would ever sing again. But she persevered, and began to use music as rehabilitation.

To say that her recovery was miraculous would be an understatement. She learned to walk again and has been able to not only speak but return to singing the way she did before the accident. Only six months after the incident at Nakiska, Tobey appeared in the local media and performed “Who Are You” live. She looked as though nothing had happened at all.

She did not make a complete recovery however. She lost her short-term memory, something that she says is the one thing she regrets losing the most. She has also lost her sense of taste, and as is to be expected after a TBI, she has had some personality changes.

I ask her if her physical fitness had anything to do with how quick she was able to recover. She attributes it more to mental fitness, sheer determination, and stubbornness. I’d say she has the mental fitness to win an Ironman marathon while the competition eating her dust.

Most of all though, she credits music for pulling her through and giving her the motivation. She was composing again before she was allowed off bed rest. She also credits her life experiences for being able to maintain a sense of calmness through it all.

A song dedicated to our troops, our veterans, and their families.

On Remembrance Day 2018 Tobey released a new single titled “Time”. It is her emotional tribute to our active duty personnel, our veterans, and their families. Together, “Time” and “Who Are You” would make the perfect anthem for those verterans with the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) caused by mefloquine toxicity.

People like Tobey are very rare to find. With natural talent and beauty, a social conscience, an amazingly resilient brain, and the ability to inspire others, we are lucky to have someone like her.

In the future, when history recounts those individuals who have had a major impact on Calgary, and were among this country’s brightest shining stars, the historians will count Tobey Kai among them.

D.B.

https://www.facebook.com/tobeykaiofficial/

Meeting The Mefloquine Cowboy

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As Shaun Arntsen fights the biggest battle of his life, he’s reaching others who are doing the same, and saving their lives.

I first heard from Shaun Arntsen about four days ago. He sent me a message on Twitter, where he is known as The Mefloquine Cowboy. He tells me he’d like to collaborate with me on something, a video and written media project about mefloquine. As I’m go through his posts on Twitter, one grabs my eye, it’s a You Tube video whose title warns me that I am about to see something emotionally charged. I watch the video, and it is what the title promises, and then some. Intrigued, I tell him that I’m very interested, and would like to talk. The next day, I hear back from him, and arrange a time to talk on the phone. It was at this point that I found out his real identity.

We exchange messages the following morning before finally connecting over the phone. In one of his messages, he lets me know that he needs to rest. I come to find out that Shaun in plagued by sudden debilitating headaches, and one has just taken hold. It is but one of a number of symptoms that he has experienced over the last 17 years. The symptoms began when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002.

When we do connect a short time later, he begins to tell me about the symptoms he is experiencing, symptoms that the Department of National Defense attributes to PTSD. He exhibits many of the symptoms that appear with PTSD, anxiety, depression, nightmares, but, he also has symptoms that are not seen in PTSD either.

He often experiences a tingling, pinprick sensation in his hands, has problems with his digestive system, and experiences episodes that he calls seizures, which, from his description of them, sound like petit mal seizures. He tells me that the things that trigger his anxiety are also unusual, in that they aren’t the normal triggers that one might see in PTSD. He tells me of how walking into a supermarket can be one of the biggest triggers of anxiety for him. The lighting in particular bothers him.

He then says something that catches my attention, when he talks about not getting anxiety from loud noises, and says something about being bombed in Afghanistan. Wait, did he just say he got bombed in Afghanistan? That didn’t make sense, our guys never got bombed in Afgha… is about as far as I thought before the words “Tarnak Farms” had popped into my head. A few moments later, he would confirm this, and I would suddenly realize who I had been talking with.

The Incident at Tarnak Farms

Canada’s first troops in Afghanistan were members of the elite Joint Task Force 2 special operations unit, followed soon after by the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in January of 2002, led by Lt.Col. Pat Stogran, as part of Operation Apollo.

The battalion took part in Operation Harpoon in March before commencing training for future operations. The live fire training would take place at a location known as Tarnak Farms, which had previously been an al Qaeda and Taliban training area, and was known to pilots to be in friendly territory.

On the night of April 17th, a section from “A” Company was conducting nighttime training, when an American F-16 flying overhead saw the tracer fire down below. In a stunning display of incompetence, the National Guard pilot dropped a 500 lb bomb on them. Four men were killed, another 8 were wounded.

Although close by, because of where he was at the time of the explosion, Cpl. Arntsen escaped physical injury that night. The same could not be said for his psyche however and there isn’t a single normal human who wouldn’t be effected similarly. It should go without saying that an incident like this will result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and he would begin to display the classic symptoms of it while still in theatre. The only thing was, what was happening to Shaun Arntsen was far more than just PTSD.

Battle For His Life

I wanted to get a sense for who the man was before I talked to him, so I did my online homework on Shaun Arntsen. I’m struck by the things that I find in his various social media accounts, and they start to give me an idea about who he his. First, in order to get a true sense of who he is, you have to look at all of them together. To simply view him through the lens of a single social media account will only leave you with a partial understanding of him.

Looking pictures of him, my first impression is that Shaun is someone who epitomize the word rugged. With his long hair, beard, and tattoos, he would look natural on the back of a motorcycle, and like many former soldiers he is active in the Canadian Veterans Motorcycle Unit. This group of motorcycle enthusiasts works to raise awareness of veterans issues on his community and across the province.

He describes himself as a “jack of all trades” and is just as comfortable operating heavy equipment as he is a camera. Using the knowledge and skills he picked up in the military, he offers tactical firearms instruction through his company Tactical Yoga, and is also an assistant coach with the Nakiska Alpine Ski Association, teaching and mentoring youth.

He’s a talented photographer, and appears to be just as comfortable in front of the camera as he is behind it. The pictures that he has taken, and those that he appears in himself, could very easily be in any number of glossy magazines, used to promote a men’s fragrance or to showcase a new clothing line.

Yet, there is another aspect to Shaun that you can’t see as much in those pictures. It’s the veteran, haunted almost continuously by demons that first appeared in Afghanistan. Like many veterans of that conflict, he’s had his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse and he’s been in trouble with the law. There are times when he’s filled with an uncontrollable rage, and he has had outbursts in public that have left some feeling uneasy, even unsafe.

During these episodes, although they may appear frightening from the outside, his rage is not directed towards any individual, and he has not attacked or otherwise menaced anyone during these episodes.

Over time, the retired corporal came to the realization that what was going on with him was more than the PTSD that the military said that he had. Many of his symptoms weren’t consistent with the diagnosis, and since they began 17 years ago, he has shown no improvement whatsoever over that time. As more and more stories about mefloquine began to emerge, it soon became clear that this was responsible for the nightmare playing itself out in Shaun’s brain and body.

He was perilously close to making the decision that many Afghanistan veterans have made, ready to end his own life in order to find himself free from the hell that he was living each and every day for years. But Shaun also is possessed of an incredible strength of spirit, and he decided to document his struggle on YouTube. His videos tell the story of a day in the life of a man who was poisoned by a neuro toxic substance that his government ordered him to take.

They are raw, edgy, and emotional, but also inspirational. Shaun Arntsen has a way of reaching his viewers the way very few people can. There’s no pretense to the man, what you see is what you get, and what you get is a dose of the reality that he and thousands of others experience daily. He can connect with people, and is a no bullshit kind of a guy, which is why he is quickly establishing himself as someone to be reckoned with, and someone that can be turned to for advice, or a little bit of support, or a message of hope at a time when it is so desperately needed.

With lawsuits pending, and a campaign of public awareness building, mefloquine will soon be getting the attention of the Canadian public at large, but there is still a lot of work to do. Every day, veterans are hearing about mefloquine and the damage it causes for the first time. For many, it almost comes as a relief, since it would provide the answers to a lot of questions that they may have been asking themselves.

Helping to lead the charge here in Canada is Shaun Arntsen, the Mefloquine Cowboy, who is saving lives as a result of his efforts. He is a man on a mission, and I’m hoping to be able to help him along in his quest to help his brothers in arms. He proved himself on the field of battle in Afghanistan, and his efforts now are nothing short of heroic.

D.B.

Dedicated to the memory of the first four. Godspeed soldiers.

Sgt Marc Leger, Pte Richard Green, Pte Nathan Smith, Cpl Ainsworth Dyer

We Got Your Six: Live

I talk with Marj and Kentrina in a new and exciting live format.

Our busy schedules have finally allowed for Marj and I to discuss the announcement that I have appointed her as a director of IBMedia Corp. and that she will also have authority over the corporations bank accounts, as well as my personal PayPal account. It was fantastic to also have Trina Jenkins along and was happy to talk with her about things, like IBMedia’s official launch date.

Not-For-Profit Media Company Closer To Becoming A Reality

IBMedia Corporation Announces Canada Day Launch Date

Not-for-profit media company will officially sign on at 2PM ET(1800 Zulu), July 1st 2021.

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It is with great pleasure and anticipation that I am finally able to announce that an official launch date has been set for IBMedia Corporation. At 2PM ET (1800 Zulu), July 1st, 2021, ibmediacorp.com will go live and begin to publish and broadcast original content, officially.

Due to the speed and unpredictability at which some stories may develop, it is quite probable that some content will be getting published prior to that date, so please watch for further details coming soon.

For those wondering about my interview with Marj Matchee, our busy schedules have allowed some time on Saturday afternoon for us to also finally to put something together for her podcast “We Got Your Six”, so stay tuned for that as well.

Derek Bodner

President, and CEO

#ibmediacorp

Not-For-Profit Media Company Closer To Becoming A Reality

But I’m still about 4-6 weeks away from seeing a paycheque, and could use a helping hand to see me through.

Four months ago, I made the decision to start a not-for-profit media company, and since then I have incorporated that company, Invictus Bellator Media Corporation (IBMedia Corp.), federally as a not-for-profit company and extra-provincially in the Province of Alberta. I have developed a logo, which I unveiled yesterday on Facebook, and am now working on finalizing the business plan that I will present to potential partners and sponsors when looking to acquire funding.

None of this would have been possible without the help and assistance peovided by Veteran’s House Charity

Veterans House Charity

https://veteranshouse.ca/

The fact of the matter is that none of this would be happening right now if not for the incredible guidance and mentorship of Stephen Beardwood and the charity organization he founded, Veteran’s House Charity. I had a vision and plan, and they were exactly who I needed to help me make it a reality. It is not a fairly well known charity at this point, but in the days, weeks, and months to come you will be hearing a lot more about what this incredible organization is all about and what it does.

Latest developments

I have been asked to prepare a Research Project Proposal by a potential client/partner that would see IBMedia conduct a survey of a group of Canadian Forces veterans, in order to obtain some vital long-term data that will be of vital importance to medical researchers. I will be releasing more details later on once an official deal has been made.

I am also going to be offering paid memberships in IBMedia. Now I said earlier that there would never be anything behind a paywall on IBMedia, and there won’t be. All stories and information will still be available for free, but there will be additional benefits that will come with a paid membership.

Membership Level Price Benefits

Founder’s Club – $50 or more per month

  • Early access to and discounts on all promotional items.
  • Exclusive “Master Class” sessions.
  • A special monthly podcast for members only.
  • Special early access to stories before they are published.
  • Learn the tricks and secrets behind effective online research.
  • Your name memorialized on the “Founder’s Club” wall.
  • Entry into the monthly promotional item giveaway.

Tier 1 – $25 per month

  • A 25% discount on promotional items.
  • Access to the monthly members podcast.
  • Special access to stories before they are published.
  • Entry into the monthly promotional item giveaway.

Tier 2 – $10 per month

  • A 10% discount on promotional items.
  • Exclusive access to bonus extras.
  • Special early access to stories before they are published.
  • Entry into the monthly promotional item giveaway.

No membership

  • You can still access all of the news and information available on ibmediacorp.com for free, it will never be hidden behind a paywall.

These memberships do not come with voting rights in the corporation.

Special Offer

I am now close to being able to start collecting a paycheque, I’m thinking maybe in the next 4-6 weeks though I wish it were much sooner. I have been able to get by as I have progressed through this incredible journey on the road to starting IBMedia, but I’m going to need a little bit of help to see me through to that point. So, I’m asking for your donations to help me make it there.

This isn’t an open-ended request, and I am anticipating that I will need about $3,000 to cover expenses over this period. If you would be willing to help me out with a financial donation for me personally, in any amount, I would be willing to give you membership in the IBMedia Founder’s Club. This means that for a one-time donation of as little as $5, you would get the same great benefits that would normally come at $50 per month.

Every day, I will be posting the number and amount of donations that I have received, and I will make an announcement when the goal has been met in order to end this fundraiser. So, if you are able to and are so inclined, please hit the PayPal button and enter a donation amount. Know that any amount that you can give would be so very greatly appreciated, and will be going a long way towards helping people around the globe.

IBMedia Corp. – Journalistic Standards

This is something that I forgot to mention in the earlier announcement. Although the business plan for IBMedia is not yet complete, I thought that I would share with you the standards and ethics under which it will pledge to operate.

IBMC shall abide by the standards set out in the Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists, which was adopted by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on 12 June 2019. 

Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists 

https://www.ifj.org/who/rules-and-policy/global-charter-of-ethics-for-journalists.html

Invictus Bellator Media Corporation Business Plan (Provisional)

Project Wolf: Revealed

The next exciting adventure begins.

Two years ago I began work on the story that would change the course of my life, giving me the sense of purpose that comes with knowing what it is that you were meant to do with your life. As I began to talk with Canadian veterans and their families, it became clear to me that they were in desperate need of a voice. So, I dedicated myself to helping my brothers and sisters from other mothers and misters in what ever way that I could, by advocating for them and telling their stories when they needed to be told.

There was still important information that needed to be shared with many of them, information that could have life altering, perhaps even life SAVING consequences for those who hear it. I had seen it for myself and I felt compelled to act, knowing that I would be helping to bring people back from the brink and offer them some hope. I had a conversation with Marj Matchee one day, one of many that we’ve had over these many months now, and I told her that it seemed like we would almost need to make our own media to carry these stories, since they weren’t being covered the way that they should have been.

So, almost two years after that conversation I decided that I would do just that. I would start my own media company to carry the message to military members and veterans in Canada and around the world.

Introducing, Invictus Bellator Media Corporation (IBMedia Corp.)

Last week, I received a federal certificate of incorporation for Invictus Bellator Media Corporation (IBMedia Corp.), a not-for-profit media company of which I am the Founder and President. It will offer news and information important to currently serving armed forces members, veterans, and their families and care-givers, in Canada and in countries around the world, with a particular focus on health & wellness issues and legal matters that are of importance to this segment of the population.

What it will offer.

IBMedia Corp. will offer news and information across multiple channels and platforms. It will produce original written, video, and audio content in the form of:

  • articles,
  • essays,
  • podcasts,
  • a variety of video productions (newsmagazines, documentaries)

These will all be posted on the website at http://www.ibmediacorp.com, and will also be available on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Although I will be contributing some of this content myself, I will also be looking to partner with freelance journalists and other contributors in order to provide greater coverage to more issues.

Potential partnerships also exist which will greatly enhance the ability of IBMedia to fundraise in a way unique within its market, and I have beem exploring a number of other partnership and sponsorship opportunities which I hope to be able to tell you about soon. Once deals are made and contracts are signed I will provide you with further information.

Apolitical.

IBMedia will be apolitical, and will neither support nor endorse any political party or entity in Canada or anywhere else. Soldiers, veterans, and their loved ones come in all shapes, sizes, & colors, and cross the political spectrum from left to right and everything in between. Our job is to help keep government accountable to the people, not to get involved in the politics.

To clarify something.

I have in the past made public statements in support of Western/Alberta separation that I must also address. My intent in starting the company was that it would be for the of benefit of ALL Canadian Armed Forces personnel and veterans, regardless of their location. To make distictions between those in the East and those in the West would be completely counter to what I am trying to achieve.

I support a strong and united Canada, and hope that workable solutions can be found to fix the problems facing Confederation, ensuring equal and fair treatment for all provinces and teritories.

Integral parts of a functioning democracy.

In order for a “free” and democratic society to function the way that it should, two things quite necessarily need to be in existence. The first is a free and independent press, the second is legislated and guaranteed protections for whistleblowers.

There are a great many people now who have a negative view of the corporate news media, believing it to be nothing more than a mouthpiece for commercial special interests. Having independent and not-for-profit sources of information serves two purposes. 1) It provides a sense of confidence that the news source is unbiased and beholden only to reporting the truth, not to shareholders, and 2) even assuming all news outlets were neutral and unbiased, there are still only so many stories that they will be capable of effectively covering, meaning that there is plenty of room for a larger number of the smaller independent companies. More coverage means a greater ability to maintain some of the checks and balances that are needed to make sure governments remain accountable to the people.

People who blow the whistle on governments or big corporations also need to know that they will have the benefit of some protections under the law, otherwise an environment exists wherein whistleblowers will fear coming forward to report any illegal or inappropriate activities on the part of the government, public service, or private industry. A lack of such protections can only further erode the public’s already lacklustre trust in these institutions.

A not-for-profit corporation, not a charity.

To be clear, IBMedia will be a not-for-profit corporation, not a charitable organization. The distiction being that the shareholders in a not-for-profit, of which I am one, are not entitiled to any profits from the business. These are to be invested back into the company and any donations are not eligible to receive a tax receipt.

Only the beginning.

It will be a little while before I can get things are fully up and running, but an important first step has been made. I am hoping to achive an ambitious schedule and have some original content published within the next three to four weeks, but I also know that this is going to take a little bit of time if I am going to do this right.

In the coming days, weeks, and months I will be making further announcements about the progress of IBMedia Corp. I hope that you will stay tuned and offer me your support and understanding as I embark on this next incredible adventure.

IBMedia Corp. Journalistic Standards

https://onecalgaryvoter.com/2021/02/24/ibmedia-corp-journalistic-standards/

I Will Be Making A Major Announcement Soon

I’ve been working on something big.

I haven’t written anything in the blog for a while and my presence online in social media has gone down as of late, but I haven’t gone away. I have been very busy working on a new and exciting major project, the details of which I will be announcing soon. It will allow me to not only continue the work that I began two years ago, but to expand upon it in a very significant way.

I will allow me to to tell more of the stories that are important to armed forces members, veterans, as well as their families and caregivers in Canada and around the world.

Project Wolf

Wolf Wm Solkin 1923-2021

As a way of honoring the esteemed Canadian World War Two veteran and veteran’s advocate, Wolf Wm Solkin, I have chosen to name this project after him. Project Wolf will be an endeavour that will have an impact worldwide, with the goal of saving or otherwise improving the quality of life of veterans and armed forces personnel everywhere.

I will be releasing the details soon, so stay tuned.

We Got Your Six With Marj Matchee: Bruce Given

Bruce is Ops Manager Of The Veteran’s Association Food Bank in Edmonton and gives us an update of how things are going.

If you are a veteran who is struggling, please know that you’re not alone. Reach out to Bruce Given or John Kennedy at the VAFB to donate or learn more or to volunteer you can stop in at 17218 107 Ave Edmonton., or call to 833-422-8387

Note: the event mentioned in the video took place on January 9th

The Veteran’s Association Food Bank operates on a model that can work wherever there are people who are willing and able to make a serious commitment to helping their fellow veterans. Contact Bruce or Marie Blackburn at the VAFB in Calgary (info.vafb@gmail.com) for more information.

Another Friend Is Gone Far Too Soon

A GoFundMe Campaign Has Been Set Up To Help His Family.

This last week was, by any measure, one of the most trying weeks in our recent memory and it would begin for myself and a number of other people on Monday. Rob Murphy was a friend who came into my life about 30 years ago, and on Monday morning he would leave it after suffering a fatal heart attack. He was 52 and leaves behind a loving family that will miss him immensely.

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In all the years that I knew Rob I can’t think of very many occasions when he wasn’t working, and if he wasn’t it didn’t last long. Over the years he worked in the oilfields of Alberta and then drove truck for a number of years up until he left us. He was one of the many thousands of Albertans whose efforts helped drive this nation’s economy.

No photo description available.

With Rob’s sudden and untimely passing his family has been placed under an unexpected financial strain, so a GoFundMe campaign was launched by Nichole Ferguson on behalf of Rob’s widow, Krista. They are hoping to raise $10,000 to help cover the expenses that they are facing. Now I know that this is a bad time in the province to try raise donations of any kind, for any effort, but I am hoping that some people might be able to spare a little something to help them out.

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On behalf of Rob’s family and many friends, I would like to say thank you for your time and for keeping them in your hearts at this most difficult of times.

Fundraiser For Krista Murphy Following The Sudden, Unexpected Passing Of Her Husband Rob

https://gofund.me/a61e3dc9

Are You A Current Or Former Veterans Affairs Canada Case Manager Or Veteran’s Service Agent?

I would like to hear from you.

I am currently working on a story about Veteran’s Affairs Canada and am looking for the input of frontline personnel, particularly current or former Case Managers and Veteran’s Service Agents. To be clear I will not, under any circumstances, reveal your identity or any information you disclose to anyone without receiving your expressed permission to do so.

I can be contacted by secure, encrypted email at derekrbodner@protonmail.com, and also use Signal and WhatsApp for phone communications.