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Vimy Ridge tour gives hope to Canadian Afghan vets suffering from PTSD

Canadian soldiers parade in front of the Canadian memorial, 07 April 2007 in Vimy (northern France), to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge. PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

VIMY RIDGE, FRANCE – A group of Canadian soldiers, struggling with post traumatic stress, paid a moving visit to Vimy Ridge, in the hope the carnage from one of the country’s most horrific battles will help bring them comfort.

Capt. Andrew Richardson says the journey to the site of the historic engagement helps him make sense of his time in Afghanistan.

The names of all 3,598 killed in the April 9, 1917 assault are etched into the stone surface of the soaring monument, but Richardson says he thinks about the ones who went home and picked up the pieces of their shattered lives.

Richardson says he knows how his war experiences in Afghanistan shaped him.

He says the fact that most of the soldiers who survived Vimy resumed their lives, likely suffering from post traumatic stress, gives him hope for his future.

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Richardson was one of handful of soldiers, both serving and retired, who visited the monument today in northeastern France.

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