Cpl. Nick Kerr competes during a golf event at the 2019 Warrior Games in Tampa.
Team Canada – Invictus, Warrior Games – Équipe Canada. Facebook
The Canadian Forces are revered for their bravery and sacrifice on the battlefield, but this week a team of military members and veterans are battling it out on the sporting grounds as they help support one another off the field.Cpl. Nick Kerr and retired Cpl. Natalie Champagne, a pair of Edmontonians, are competing in Tampa, Fla. at the Department of Defence Warrior Games. They were part of the Canadian golf team that potted a gold medal while earning bronze medals for their individual efforts on the links.Kerr and Champagne were joined by military police Master Cpl. Debbie Dufour and retired Sgt. Ernest “Daryl” Sagar to round out the Edmonton area contingent at the games.Kerr was also able to bring home two more bronze medals in the pool on Saturday while finishing middle of the pack in his rowing events earlier in the week.“The games are awesome. The reputation as Canadians being very polite and humble is still exceeding incredibly down here. Everybody’s saying how nice we are and how polite,” said Kerr. “The other part of it is, it’s really emotional knowing that there are people taking on challenges and conquering fears and having them perform down here, stepping out of their comfort zones is definitely emotional.”The Warrior Games were established in 2010 as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, ill and injured service members.Athletes from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark and Australia armies and separate military branches of the United States are competing against the Canadian contingent in 11 different sports ranging from archery, cycling and shooting to rowing, powerlifting and wheelchair basketball.Kerr has served 17 years in the military, including a deployment in Afghanistan in 2006. He was diagnosed with moderate to low depression and moderate to low PTSD.To help battle the effects of his diagnosis, Kerr says he immerses himself in community, volunteering with 17 different organizations. He sees the games as a way to continue to build that support system.“There’s a lot of mutual stories and respect between our militaries. A lot of the people here have the same experiences and stories from serving overseas,” said Kerr. “We’ve been talking with a lot of Brits and the marines and the army guys and some of the navy guys and air force guys and finding these little similarities in our stories.”This is the second year Canada has sent a team to the Warrior games, sending a group of 36 veterans and current military members to Tampa. This year’s games run from June 21 to email@example.com