Wounded Afghanistan veteran chronicles long road back

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Front Lines
Front Lines

Photo credits: Stephen J. Thorne

Wounded Afghanistan veteran chronicles long road back


Surviving a Taliban bomb that robbed him of both legs and his military career was one thing, but it was Mark Campbell’s long road back through post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, government red tape, depression and alcoholism that transfixed a rapt audience on May 2.

Speaking to the Annual Sam Sharpe Breakfast for mental health in uniformed service, the retired major described the life-saving measures his fellow Patricias took in mid-firefight after he was targeted by a remotely detonated bomb in 2008, only for him to die and be resuscitated on an operating table in Kandahar.


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Veterans Benefits Guide
Military Milestones
Military Milestones


The Prince of “In Flanders Fields”


“His girl’s picture had a hole right through it—and we buried it with him… A soldier’s death!” wrote the great poet-surgeon John McCrae.

McCrae, also a major and second in command of the 1st Canadian Brigade during the First World War, would go on to write “In Flanders Fields,” a poem that transfixed a nation and transformed the poppy into a symbol of remembrance.

While many forget McCrae’s lifelong excellence as a clinician and veteran, even less is known about the soldier whose funeral inspired his iconic poem. That solider was Alexis Hannum Helmer, a 22-year-old lieutenant of the 1st Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery, who died on May 2, 1915.


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