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The Rolling Barrage

Members of The Rolling Barrage, a coast to coast group dedicating to raising awarenes of PTSD, paused for a rest at the parking lot near St. James Anglican Church in Port aux Basques last Wednesday, Aug. 2. – © René J. Roy / Wreckhouse Press Incorporated

By Jaymie L. White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES – On Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 2, the Town of Port aux Basques was treated to a loud and proud showing of the Rolling Barrage, a unique fundraiser of motorcycle riders who want to shed light on the stigma surrounding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “The Rolling Barrage is a rolling fundraiser, and we’re making some noise to fight the stigma of PTSD, particularly in veterans, serving members and first responders in the community. So firefighters, police, EMS, corrections, the whole gamut. We figure if we can normalize that conversation, there’s a lot better of a chance of having the people come forward to get the help they need before they take steps that ultimately end in things like suicide that we see just way too much of,” said Warren Kave, a member from outside of Kelowna, B.C. The Rolling Barrage started with founder Scott Casey in 2017, with the group’s inaugural ride taking place as Canadians not only celebrated the 150th birthday of Canada, but the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Rolling Barrage actually took it’s name from Vimy Ridge and the ‘creeping barrage’ tactic the Canadians developed for artillery fire. This tactic is hailed as one of the components that were critical to their success at Vimy Ridge. Being in Bosnia, Croatia in 1992, and after witnessing the true devastation of what it did to many company members, Casey knew he had to do something. “He came up with this idea he had been thinking about for a few years and called on some old friends from the Royal Canadian Regiment, put together a small team, and they made it happen,” said Kave. “So when they did that, there were seven riders. They started in Flat Rock here in Newfoundland, and they made their way all the way across the country to Victoria, British Columbia. I think that was 20 or 21 days. I’ve been a part of every one in some capacity. This is the third time this year that I’ve been doing the entire ride from coast to coast, and it’s my first time starting in Newfoundland.” The Rolling Barrage has grown to include more and more members since its first ride only six years ago. “We have 49 riders that are registered from coast to coast. Now some of them are starting in North Sydney. When we cross, we’ll meet up with them,” said Kave. “They’re still going to be going from the Atlantic to the Pacific. They just didn’t have the time or ability to make it here for the start. So they’re still going to make the entire dip in the Atlantic and the Pacific, and they’ll be full pole, as we call it, for the riders that go the entire distance.” In Sept. 2021, Casey passed the torch to Paul Harman, who assumed the top leadership role with the Rolling Barrage, and it was Harman who helped to turn the ride into a nationally organized event. In Apr. 2021, the Board of Directors of Military Minds Inc. (MMI) made the decision to dissolve the corporation, but the Rolling Barrage PTSD Foundation was soon created to continue the legacy of the Rolling Barrage, and they continue to raise awareness. “We have it scheduled for 19 days riding. We started on the first (of August) here yesterday, and we’ll arrive in Burnaby, British Columbia, on the 19th. Then on the 20th we have an event planned. We’ll just go to a local boat launch and we’ll dip our tires in the Pacific down there,” explained Kave. Kave said that the group has received outstanding support during the Newfoundland leg. “Along the way, (Royal Canadian) Legions have been a great support. We had big freight. They brought twelve motorcycles all the way from – eleven of them from British Columbia and one from Alberta – and they brought them all the way to St. John’s, Newfoundland, absolutely free, so that was pretty huge,” said Kave. “Rugged Rock Harley-Davidson up there in St. John’s, my goodness, did they treat us well. Amazing support there. So seeing the amount of support we’re having right here in Newfoundland, you can definitely expect to see us back here.” For more information or to donate, visit the Rolling Barrage website at: therollingbarrage.com.

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