Our friend Al has just completed his first Invictus Games. He only started his sport, archery, in April and he gave some highly accomplished opponents a run for their money in Toronto last week. He also got to shake the hand of Prince Harry, co-founder of the competition for wounded and ailing veterans from around the world.
I told Al’s story here before the games began but an article for TVO goes much more in-depth on his career and struggles with PTSD. (click HERE) Al, known professionally as Retired Sgt. Al McFarlane of the Royal Canadian Air Force, beat out 10 competitors to qualify 16th of 16, then went on to the semi-finals before he was knocked out of play. It was a tremendous showing for the rookie, whose oft-stated goal was simply to compete, and get his proof that he was there: a commemorative coin given to competitors.
We’re all bursting with pride for Al and thrilled that he’s found a sport he loves. Next year, he’ll be a veteran in more ways than one. With an Invictus Games under his belt and better than a year of training, he’ll be qualified to mentor new players, new veterans searching for a purpose for their lives after they leave the service.