He left with little fanfare. Backpack fully loaded, water bottle at the ready.
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Sgt. Rob Farrer came out of the detachment shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday, fully prepared to tackle the Okanagan Rail Trail between Vernon and Lake Country four times on-foot to raise awareness and funds for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and occupational stress injuries in policing.
“There’s a huge number, about double that of the general population,” said Farrer. “I think we need to do more to just raise awareness in one part, and then raising funds for a PTSD service dog for someone in need.”
Farrer estimates it will take him 60 continuous hours to complete his goal. If successful he will have covered close to 240 kilometres.
Farrer is walking in support of Courageous Companions — a service dog program created by OSI- CAN — which helps emergency responders suffering from long-term OSI, PTSD and other stress-related issues acquire service support dogs to aid in their recovery. Although the costs associated with training OSI service dogs are high ringing in at approximately $25,000.
A GoFundMe campaign for the walk, as of Sunday morning, had raised nearly $5,800 toward a goal of $20,000.