Every year, November 11 brings back many war memories for veterans, but also great pride for a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) retiree who is making a special transition to a career as a comedian.
After 20 years of service and post-traumatic shock syndrome, Steven Bilodeau wants to “laugh to heal.”
Before he let go, he had stretched his health rubber to its maximum.
As a former professional basketball athlete in the Army, the 6-foot-tall hulk is always very emotional when it comes to remembering Memorial Day.
“From 2007 to 2008 I completed a ten-month deployment to Afghanistan. We experienced a big ambush and I was afraid of dying. That’s what left the aftermath. Sometimes emotions arise, but I can bear witness to them,” explains the former military policeman, member of the special forces, the elite of the FAC.
Proud to have worn the uniform
He was born in Quebec and first enlisted as an infantryman in March 1999. Over the years, not only the signs and symptoms of the disease appeared, but also attempts to adapt. To a point of no return.
“I decided to trust the healthcare system and I believed in it. I was willing to suffer to become better and have more balance in my life,” admits the veteran.
Despite his heavy luggage, Steven Bilodeau says he is still very proud to have worn the uniform. “I’m not bitter at all anymore. You sacrifice yourself and your health and realize that that’s what military service was really about. Put Canada before itself. I lived a dream career and achieved everything I wanted. I did it with heart and passion,” he adds.
In order not to be shocked by the images of November 11th, Steven Bilodeau keeps himself busy as much as possible. The former sergeant also took the stage in Quebec City for the event on Friday evening Memory showwhose goal is to raise funds to help veterans struggling with physical and mental health issues.
At 45, the transition to humor now allows him to experience a dose of adrenaline by treading the boards in front of an audience.
“Personally, I haven’t gotten to the point of visiting memorials yet. When performing, I have to put myself in danger, even if it has nothing to do with my physical integrity. Experiencing strong sensations to feel alive. It is healthy to experience positive emotions. For self-esteem, to value yourself.”
Remembrance Day in the Quebec region
Two memorial ceremonies will take place on Saturday, November 11th
- Cenotaph of the Sacrificial Cross, entrance to the Plain of Abraham
The ceremony begins at 10:40 a.m.
- Support base of 2e Canada Division Valcartier, Valcartier Cenotaph Base
The ceremony begins at 10:45 a.m.
Both ceremonies include an aerial tribute with a low-level flight by a military helicopter at around 11 a.m.
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