Meet Nancy

David B canadian armed forces in front of tutor jet
David B canadian armed forces in front of tutor jet

During my course in the Veterans Transition Program (VTP), it was through those Paras that I finally opened up and agreed to share with the others what I had never shared before! It’s also the reason that I decided to continue my commitment by becoming a Para myself.

“If I am lucky enough to receive something from one person, I want to give something equivalent back to another. I try to apply this philosophy as often as possible in my life. It’s a good thing, it’s the basis of the VTP!”

In my opinion, a good Para doesn’t judge, listens to others, doesn’t seek to compare people and is caring. The two Paras who supervise the group of VTP participants is the most important and determining element of that group.

The role of the psychologists is also essential. When one of the participants recounts an experience that was particularly triggering, it is common that their story brings up painful memories in other participants. It’s often at this point that the invention of one of the psychologists is most appropriate and helpful.

Despite this, from my training and experience, I have developed a distrust towards people who are not military and even more so if they are susceptible to judge or evaluate me. Also, my first impression as a VTP participant was how totally different the other participants were from me. As a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, I have extensive experience in missions overseas and situations that other participants couldn’t even imagine. I have seen and experienced the consequences of the most horrible instincts present in certain humans. So, how can the stories of their experiences and wounds help me?

shattered glass black and white

All this questioning, all this reluctance slowed me down at the start and hindered my progress towards a certain form of evolution and acceptance. But, finally, what I understand is that the ultimate goal of the program is to become aware of what you have truly suffered and to accept it. From there, some form of healing is possible.

Obviously, after all the emotions experienced and shared with the other participants, I can’t help but realize that I was wrong, that I have to change my negative first impressions and that at the end of the program, with my new friends, I lived a “magical moment.” 

“A good Para doesn’t judge, listens to others, doesn’t seek to compare people and is caring.”

In fact, I appreciated the work of the Paras so much that I became one! I am already looking forward to meeting you and coaching you through a VTN program. All that’s left is to sign up! What are you waiting for?

– Nancy Guay