Army Reservist prepares for Italian (cycle) Campaign

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador  — To say Master Warrant Officer John Heffernan likes to keep busy would be a major understatement.

The Army Reservist, who serves as Company Sergeant Major of 36 Combat Service Support Company in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, has packed schedules on both the professional and personal fronts. On the latter, much of his time is devoted to volunteer work with Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC), a registered charity offering a wide range of programming to support ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans. Its primary focus is on mental health and, particularly, the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

MWO Heffernan will be under the WWC banner this summer when he sets out for his third time on the organization’s annual Battlefield Bike Ride. The event takes participants on cycle tours of Europe with stops at historically significant sites. Over $800,000 has been raised by the ride to date and more than 80 people participated in both 2014 and 2015.

A self-described year-round cyclist who enjoys the odd burst of adrenaline, MWO Heffernan certainly embraces the physical challenges of the event, which sees riders travel 100-plus kilometres each day. This year’s ride, dubbed “The Italian Campaign” in recognition of Canada’s contributions in Italy during the Second World War, will take place from June 10 to 18, 2016.

Participants will traverse the 600 kilometres between Ravenna and Monte Cassino, Italy. MWO

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