He was deployed as an avionics technician, but he was also responsible for playing the bagpipes at ramp ceremonies, piping off his fallen comrades. In his first ceremony, he had to say goodbye to a Canadian soldier he’d befriended just three weeks earlier. For four months, he took part in three ramp ceremonies a week, with up to six bodies in each. In an attempt to forget everything he took to drinking five bottles of wine a week and whiskey to finish, just so he could get to sleep. But it didn’t stop the nightmares…

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His childhood was marked by arguments over God. One of his parents was Anglican, the other Catholic. He attended Sunday school and two churches, but in their confusion, he said his family didn’t know where God was. As a teenager, he left the church behind, and he says he might never have gone back. But at seventeen, his vision started to fade due to an irreversible optic nerve condition. Within six months, he was legally blind…

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