A Reservist's Tale Of A Tour

A Quick, Shameless Plug For A Good Cause

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My small cadre of fans, I have a favour to ask.

When I first joined the army, I lived in Peterborough, Ontario, and was a member of the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment. The Hasty Ps, especially in Peterborough, were like big family, and over the years, that sense of family was tested and proven many times.

Also from Peterborough was a young boy named James Birrell, who suffered from a horrible brain cancer called neuroblastoma. James, in his very short life, touched a lot of lives. Including the Hasty Ps. It turns out that one of our soldiers rented a room in a house that belonged to James’ aunt (if I remember right), and from hearing the stories, a little inspiration was born. James loved green trains, you see. What looks a little like a green train? A bunch of soldiers on a ruck march. So some of the troops got an idea to do a ruck march through town to keep awareness of the James Fund (the charity created in his name) alive, to encourage physical fitness, to just do something good together.

I did a few of the Green Train Marches before moving on. It disappeared for a couple of years but has since restarted. It actually happened yesterday. I, being Over Here, couldn’t be a part, but I’ve decided to support them a bit, but more importantly, here’s what I’m asking of you.

1. Go to and read a bit about James and his story, and be inspired by how brave kids can be.

2. Go to and make a donation. Any donation. The fund is administered by Toronto’s outstanding Hospital For Sick Children. You get a tax receipt, and research goes on. Everyone feels good.

Seriously, go. Do it. I’ve gotten all sorts of offers from people to send care packages and such things here, but honestly, I don’t need anything. What I’d much rather those people who have that sense of generosity do is something like this.


“Ya can’t let cancer ruin your day.” Well said, kid.

Written by Nick

April 15, 2012 at 12:44 am

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