Beyond The Uniform

Veteran shares battle with PTSD in new documentary 

Greg Price never imagined he would be retired from his position as Sgt. with his Medical Services Unit this early.

Price’s family has strong ties to the military life and serving their country. His great-grandfather fought as an infanteer in the First World War, his grandfather fought in both Second World War and Korean War, and his uncle served with the Air Force. 

He applied to serve in the military during the summer of 2001.

“In all honesty, I wanted to be an artist for Disney, but didn’t have a lot of money for college,” says Price. “I basically went and did the testing and found myself being offered the medic occupation.

In 2010, Price served on one tour to Afghanistan, lasting 228 days. When he returned, he suffered a divorce and started to realize the difficulty of integrating back into daily life back home. 

“Things seemed a lot easier overseas, back home things were fast-paced, and I had a hard time adjusting to life. I was really lost after my tour in 2010, I felt like I was losing my identity and I felt very vulnerable.”

As time passed after his return from Afghanistan,  Price would often hide his suffering from others. At first, it wasn’t easy to reach out for help, but Price quickly realized he wasn’t going to be able to sustain the mask he was wearing around or the pace of life he was living.

“It was very hard to admit that I was not well, I felt I was letting my troops down, and it was obvious I wasn’t pulling my weight the way I should be in my role as a Sergeant.” 

He was medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces last year, October 2016.

Although dealing with leaving the military and battling with his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Price had a lot of support from friends and family, who Price says likely saved his life just by being by his side. 

He says sharing his story has helped him to find strength and a sense of appreciation for the more difficult times he has endured.

“I’m very honoured and humbled that people have taken an interest in my story and my pledge is to be as honest and telling as I can.”

One of those people is David Piedra Cobas, a former cameraman for Global News. 

After reporting about Remembrance Day and telling the story of an RCAF Veteran in 2016, Cobas wanted to do more. He wanted to explore the paths of PTSD and military, but a short news story wasn’t the way to go. 

“After some reorganizing with Chorus Entertainment, I had the chance to apply for new jobs, so I pulled the plug and wanted to tell the stories of the Canadian military in a rapidly changing media landscape,” says Cobas.

Cobas was told about Price and his story and met with him in April.

Although PTSD is not a new story to tell, Cobas hopes it reaches someone who needs it. 

“This documentary goes to a dark place. It’s a difficult trade that most civilians have never heard of, we have the opportunity to have people in these situations share their experiences.”

 The documentary, “Hell’s Half Acre: War, PTSD and Back will be entered to a number of film festivals, with the hopes of a public release in April 2019. 

Since getting help and support, Price tries to live his life as normal as possible. He rides a motorcycle, writes, does art, spends time with his kids, and tries to maintain a daily routine as much as possible. 

“If anything, I am very appreciative of the hardest times because they have truly made me the appreciative and strong person I am today,” says Price. “Don’t let a diagnosis define you, there is something empowering in being a survivor, and it will be a hell of a battle, but I can do it, so can you.”

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Paige LeClair

As a recent graduate from the St. Thomas University Journalism program, Paige has a passion for storytelling and investigative journalism. In 2016, she, along with her journalism team were awarded first place at the Emerge Media Awards in the multimedia category. The team was also a finalist at the Canadian Association of Journalist Awards. She is excited to work with other military spouses providing stories and information to the military community. Paige is newly married to Andrew, a Lineman, and moved to their first posting in Petawawa in May of this year. She is excited to begin this journey with Andrew, their dog Diablo, and cat, Linux

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