Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cross Quebec Tour a Huge Success

For three weeks now our good friend Lise Charon has been traveling across Quebec meeting members of our Canadian Armed Forces and their families. The trip started after the unfortunate passing of Corporal Steve Martin, Canada's 154th forces member to lose their life in the Afghan mission.

At that time, while working on other projects, Lise asked us at Canadian Heroes if it would be possible to borrow a Canadian Heroes vehicle and take it to the funeral of Cpl. Martin. Naturally we agreed.

"I find that people seeing a visual recognition (car) brings them forward to talk about their experiences. They have something to relate to," said Lise.

Lise had been in communication with Canadian Heroes for years but recently asked us for a co-venture of sorts. Lise has been running her own site for just over two years called RIDE IN RED in English and RIDE EN ROUGE in French. The focus of that website is to increase awareness about the troops in Afghanistan and abroad as well as promoting in country events that help support our heroes. As far as we can tell it is the only website focused on our troops with both English and French languages.

"Canadians should know how the individual soldier feels about their work, and how they feel about the difference they are making. We don't hear these things, we don't know about that. We need to increase access," said Lise.

A union between our two groups came quite naturally.

After the funeral and various Internet posts depicting the Canadian Heroes car, Lise began getting interest from her many followers and contacts with requests for the car to make appearance. Not long after that Lise began her cross Quebec tour in the Canadian Heroes car.

The trip began in late December and ended on January 17th. During that tour Lise visited countless Silver Cross families, or families of fallen soldiers. She also visited the Val Cartier Military base by Quebec City and the base in Petawawa, many Legion halls and also some veteran’s reunions, which in some cases are held weekly.

According to Lise that support group is incredibly valuable to those that attend. Lise said that it keeps the older veterans going mentally when they know they have that weekly contact.

Thanks to Lise the trip was a singing success. It wasn't always easy though and luckily Lise got some support of her own on the way.

"Cpl. Martin Daigle was assigned to me as a liaison officer to take me from unit to unit on the base. He worked with me the whole day," making her stay at Val Cartier military base a little easier.

She had interviews with all the military newspapers, including the Adsum from Val Cartier and The Post from Petawawa.

"They asked what the car was for, why was I doing it and how I got involved," said Lise.

"Everyone was touched by the vehicle, even if it was just in English."

Lise is passionate about our troops and wants Canadians to recognize both the fallen soldiers and those still abroad doing our country a valued and difficult service

"They are still (in Afghanistan) making the ultimate sacrifice, the soldiers that come back missing a leg, or with mental problems, it's a sacrifice and they all agreed to that," added Lise.

Both Lise and Canadian Heroes feel that giving back is important. And the message is getting out there. Recently Lise has been in contact with some citizens of France. They love what Lise and Canadian Heroes are doing to support our heroes and have started following the threads online from across the ocean.

"People in France have been writing to us. It's (internet groups) touching people that we don't usually hear about. It's starting to go global," said Lise.

The message is clear, Lise has and Canadian Heroes have a passion for supporting out troops in whatever way possible. Lise hopes that more people will get involved moving forward.

"I think there is a need for Canadians to have something like this (Canadian Heroes Car), to honor what our Canadian troops are doing."

"People want to see the car. With the Internet I didn't need to go but people want to see the car," said Lise.

"We have to go out and meet people. That is where we get results. When we started doing the tour last week, it exploded with requests and involvement. Knowing about what's happening there. We need to bring information about the entire campaign," she added.

We at Canadian Heroes would like to take this opportunity to thank Lise Charon for her tireless work and dedicated passion to our Canadian Armed Forces. Without people like Lise our troops would never know how much we appreciate what we do. Also, a big thank you to all those that allowed our car and Lise to step briefly into your lives, it was a great tour.

Check out our photo gallery of the entire trip and for a more detailed listing check the past three weeks of posts our Facebook pages.

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