Veteran Affairs town hall with Seamus O'Reegan
Good morning VGR I am Arthur Laramie,
I am a Veteran of 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, joining the military in 2008, and serving as a Patricia from early 2009 until 2015. I was then posted to JSR, where retired via medical release in 2017.
During my military career, I completed two tours to Afghanistan, first as a Door Gunner in Kandahar, and second as a Convoy Ops driver in Kabul.
My efforts to bring awareness and aid to fellow members and veterans began with the establishment of my clothing-line, HAF (Hard As Fuk) Apparel. Our mandate at Hard As Fuk Apparel is to bring together members and veterans who are suffering from PTSD, OSI, Anxiety and Depression. The goal is to create a community that acts as a beacon of light in for those in the dark places. If you see any one wearing this brand you know they are safe to talk with and can actively listen. Our ultimate goal is to grow the brand to the point of being able to hire only veterans.
My second endeavour is The Iron King Ltd., a physical fitness facility that caters to the environmental needs of those service members, veterans, police, corrections, fire fighters, paramedics and nurses who have to deal with their stressors due to service. This facility is a home-away-from-home. It’s designed to create a comfortable and welcoming environment. Our staff are Mental Health First Aid qualified, and many of our members that are not service-persons make mental health their first priority. This space is meant to be a healthy choice to get out aggression, anger, frustration, sadness and pain, rather than those suffering turning to alcohol and drugs. We also host Project Trauma Support Peer Support group meeting every Sunday from 7pm to 9pm. Legitimate and true no-judgement zone. Come as you are, and be appreciated and cared for, for just that.
Personally, business aside, I am making a difference by being open, honest and vulnerable. Actions speak louder than words, and participating in events like the Town Hall meetings, engaging people in their wants and needs, establishing my own political career, but most importantly, being a the best husband and father that I can be are ways I am leading the way in embracing my diagnosis, owning my life, and rewarding myself by helping others.