morai-blog-image-interview-team-true-patriot-love-invictus-games

Toronto hosts 2017’s Invictus Games, an international adaptive multi-sport event created by Prince Harry where wounded, injured, or sick armed services personnel and associated Veterans take part in various sports.

The name Invictus was coined based on its Latin origins meaning: unconquered or undefeated. Prince Harry describes the games as a “a spotlight on the unconquerable character of servicemen and women and their families.” The motivation being a display of the very best of human spirit.

This year could not have been better timing for addressing issues of Canadian Veterans and their families with the events being hosted in Toronto. One of the main reasons we supported Team True Patriot Love earlier this summer is because we truly believe in the organization they chose to support: True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL).

True Patriot Love Foundation Leverages Invictus as a Platform to Bring Awareness to the Current Canadian Veteran Situation

TPL is an organization that works closely with the Canadian Armed Forces, Department of Veteran Affairs and local grassroots organizations to clearly identify the most urgent needs of Canadian military families on a national scale, while avoiding duplication of efforts between all organizations.

A multinational symposium prior to the Games was organized by TPL, which brought together competitors and their families from the 17 nations represented at the Invictus Games, international leaders and senior representatives from the charitable, research, and medical sectors to discuss the most pressing concerns within the military community.

The Morai Logistics team decided to feature this week’s post to outlining the difficulty Veterans face when transitioning into civilian life and how the average Canadian can help support those men and women returning from military service.

An Interview with Team True Patriot Love on What Canadians Can Do to Help Veterans in Need

Sitting with three members of Team True Patriot Love, the team that raced to bring awareness to TPL and to contribute their donated earnings to support their cause.

In June of this year, Team True Patriot Love successfully completed the Race Across America (RAAM) 2017, coming in second place with a time of 5 days, 17 hours and 55 minutes, setting a new Canadian record. The team also were successful in raising over $130,000 for Canadian Veterans in support of the True Patriot Love Foundation.

We go over the three biggest questions stemming from the call to bring Canadians up to speed on the current situation for Canadian Veterans returning from service, what their needs are, and what can be done as a Canadian citizen wanting to do more and support their servicemen and women.

Reid McGregor, from Team True Patriot Love, answers on behalf of him, Chris Slawson, and Bryan Murphy.

Shaun Francis, the executive chair of True Patriot Love Foundation, encourages ordinary Canadians to get to know Veterans and their families, hinting that civilian and governmental support for the current cohort of Canadian Veterans was a “generational commitment.” What are your thoughts on this?

The point about getting to know Veterans and helping build back their social network and supporting them in their civilian life is extremely important. Canada has done an incredible job of creating a melting pot of culture and diversity that is inclusive and celebrated from coast-to-coast, but we have failed to fully support those that voluntarily elect to join the military and serve our country. Furthermore, it is clear that we continue to fall short of providing a stable network for them to return to.

I have struggled to find an outlet or events where I would get to interact with more Veterans. My grandfather was a military Veteran, but no one in my circle of friends born in the early 80s chose the military as a career. In choosing TPL as the charity to support in our Race Across America, our cycling team wanted to change this. We needed to find a way to open our network not only to meet Veterans but theirs as well, and create a new environment where we could help support them, but also build new friendships. We were introduced to Glen Villa, a 31-year-old Veteran at the True Patriot Love Toronto Tribute Dinner in 2016.

Glen agreed to join our team in the race and as part of our crew shared valuable leadership, motivation, and technical skills that had a direct impact on our success in setting a new Canadian 8-man record. Glen shared many stories about how the close community of the military is so vastly different than what’s waiting after returning from service I was glad we had the honour to work with Glen and also build a friendship. Glen is not an anomaly and their needs to be more services to support people like Glen. More information, more ways to honour and more direct involvement needs to be addressed otherwise for those with less and less connections to the military, we risk losing the link between military and community.

morai-blog-image-team-tpl-attending-invictus

Team TPL Members Attend the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto
How can the “Average Canadian” better support Veterans or get more informed on the issue?

Get involved. The difficulty is that when you are not part of a (figuratively speaking) “military family”, it’s hard to find ways to be a part of it. Whether it be through community programs or within corporate organizations, you have to put yourself out there. Once you do though, it opens up a different and unique part of society and one that should be an essential part of being Canadian.

As Canadians we need to understand that our Veterans deserve every opportunity as civilians and should be supported in returning to civilian life and create opportunities for them to succeed. As a Canadian, we owe it to them. I have no doubt that events like the Invictus Games will show society how tough these people really are and that although they may face physical and mental challenges in their life outside of the military, the skills that they exude vastly surpass any of these.

What sort of support structures do you feel the Canadian Government needs to put in place?

There needs to be a more accessible medium to interact with Veterans. It has been a personal gain for me to meet someone like Glen and I know the more focus we put on celebrating the men and women who serve our country the more the community will build. Events like the Invictus Games not only shine a spotlight on our military but also celebrates them through a different lens. It celebrates their abilities and their drive, and exposes regular Canadians to the struggles that these heroes face in daily life. Watching them put that aside to compete was inspirational.

Remembrance Day certainly brings the military into the spotlight but it is once a year and although incredibly important and patriotic, it does little to address the next wave of Veterans. These are not our grandparents anymore, but our colleagues, associates and our neighbours. Creating a unique environment where we can interact with our Veterans would be essential.

Sports is an easy avenue to start with. The US created the Warrior Games which brings together wounded service men and women from air force, navy and marines to compete. This could have profound national impact and increase community involvement. If we can also find ways to include military Veterans in our daily activities I would expect more support to build. Maybe we create a “Marathon of Sport” similar to Motionball where we can interact with Veterans in a more fun and social manner. Any event where civilians have an opportunity to interact with Veterans will build a foundation and support.

About Morai Logistics and Team True Patriot Love

Morai Logistics Inc. is a 3rd party logistics provider with an operating agency agreement representing Mode Transportation. They are a logistics team based in the Greater Toronto Area and do business throughout North America, specializing in cross-border logistics, especially Mexico.

They were the presenting sponsor to Team True Patriot Love, the only eight rider Canadian Cyclist Team that participated in the Race Across America (RAAM) for Canadian Veterans supporting True Patriot Love Foundation.

Team TPL - Race Finish - 01

Team True Patriot Love successfully completes Race Across America (RAAM) 2017, coming in second place and breaking the current Canadian record while raising over $120,000 for Canadian Veterans in support of the True Patriot Love Foundation.

Morai Logistics is proud to be the title sponsor of Team True Patriot Love (Team TPL), a team of eight Toronto cyclists that competed and successfully completed a race from coast-to-coast across the U.S. They competed in Race Across America, a grueling race that starts in Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland.

Team TPL competed in order to raise money for True Patriot Love Foundation, a charity for veterans, military and their families. Not only did these amazing racers come in second place, they beat the current Canadian record. Team TPL completed the race, cycling 3070 miles, in 5 days, 17 hours, and 56 minutes. The previous record was 6 days, 2 hours, and 21 minutes.

The Logistics of Cycling from Coast-to-Coast Across America

As a third-party logistics provider, we understand transportation. Getting from one side of the United States to the other is no easy task. The riders from Team True Patriot Love, as mentioned in our previous post, has to endure various extreme conditions. It’s not surprising that Outside Magazine labels the RAAM as the “the toughest test of endurance in the world.”

Despite being a relay, the race is a grueling 24hr non-stop journey over multiple days. Climbing more than 50,000+ vertical metres while taking on the mountain ranges of Sierra Nevada, The Rockies and The Appalachians. They also have to endure temperature swings from 55+ degrees Celsius across the desert to -5 atop mountain passes.

But the more interesting for us logistics industry professionals is the way that this all must be managed for the crew of the cyclists. This is on top of the way the race demands protocol and process in and of itself.

Team TPL - Race Finish - 14

Managing Racers During Transitions is Its Own Supply Chain

The riders competed as two groups of four and had their own split of the total crew members. Eight racers were supported by a crew of 16 who handle the logistical aspects of supporting these riders across the entire journey, coupled with five support vehicles. This includes switching between riders, coordinating rest periods, and feeding both the riders and crew members over the ensuing week of non-stop racing.

We’ve collaborated with Team TPL to build a pre-race infographic to showcase some of the fun facts collected during training to achieve the impressive feat of beating the previous Canadian record. Check out their training facts below:

team-tpl-pre-race-infographic

No Better Time to Support Canadian Veterans

In line with Canada’s 150th Anniversary, the money raised from this race goes to the True Patriot Love Foundation. Their mission: to inspire every Canadian to contribute to the resilience and well-being of our military, Veterans and their families. The foundation works closely with the Canadian Armed Forces, Department of Veteran Affairs and local grassroots organizations. They work together to clearly identify the most urgent needs of Canadian military families on a national scale, while avoiding duplication of efforts between all other supporting organizations.

The entire Morai Logistics team is extremely proud to have supported these riders for their journey! We couldn’t have chosen a better group of riders to support, and they have gone above and beyond with their performance!

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3PL provider, check out our services. We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

morai-logistics-team-tpl-raam

Team True Patriot Love, the only 8 rider Canadian Cyclist Team is Racing Across America for Canadian Veterans with the support of Morai Logistics.

It’s official! Race Across America (RAAM) has begun. Morai Logistics is proud to announce its contribution as the Presenting Sponsor for Team True Patriot Love (#TeamTPL). Their dedication to helping their fellow Canadians and the ordeals they’ll be going through are an inspiration for the rest of us.

Some of the world’s greatest ultra-distance cyclists have gathered in Oceanside, California to compete in a punishing race across thousands of kilometers. Among those participating is Team True Patriot Love (Team TPL). They are the only Canadian 8-rider team who are committed to setting a new speed record for the race. Their first priority however, is to raise awareness and support for Canadian veterans and their families.

Racing for Canadian Veterans and Their Families

Team TPL’s goal of completing the race in record time is ambitious. But its their dedication to their fellow Canadians that’s truly admirable. They have decided to dedicate their ride in support of the True Patriot Love Foundation.

Morai-Team-TPL

The charity they represent honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their families. They do this by funding programs and research aimed at family health and support, physical health and rehabilitation, mental health, and well-being. Over the last 8 years, True Patriot Love has raised more than $15.1 million. The money has gone to support military charities and research across Canada according to interviews with the team. Team TPL has managed to raise over $110,000 (as of today) of its $200,000 goal so far. The race begins this coming Saturday.

Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary of confederation this year. While many of us will be marking the occasion with fire works, Team TPL will honouring it by competing in the RAAM. In doing so, they’ll be raising money for Canadian veterans and their families. Like those veterans, Team TPL will be enduring harsh conditions and grueling physical hardship for a better tomorrow for their fellow Canadians.

RAAM — A Race Like No Other

Dubbed, “the toughest test of endurance in the world” by Outside magazine, RAAM was started in 1982 by four individuals. They raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in NYC and ended up inspiring other to do the same. Since then, teams of 2, 4 and 8 people have gathered annually to compete against each other.

This year’s RAAM will have teams compete not just against each other, but also against harsh terrain and the elements. The record Team TPL will need to beat is 6 days, 2 hours and 21 minutes if want to achieve their goal. It won’t be easy.

“The Race Across America (RAAM) is a bicycle race like no other. Unlike its more famous cousin, the Tour de France, cyclists don’t race in stages spread across several weeks. RAAM is decidedly less glamorous and far more savage. Once the starting gun goes off in Oceanside, California, the clock does not stop until you cross the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland, some 4800+ kms later” writes Amy Synder in her book, Hell on Two Wheels.
Other difficulties the racers will face are:

  • The race being 24hr non-stop racing over multiple days
  • Climbing more than 50,000+ vertical metres taking on the mountain ranges of Sierra Nevada, The Rockies and The Appalachians
  • Temperature swings from 55+ degrees Celsius across the desert to -5 atop mountain passes

Morai Logistics is Cheering from Afar!

The entire Morai Logistics team is excited to watch the race from our office cheering Team True Patriot Love from afar. Our President, Kelli Saunders will be greeting the boys along with many other friends and family members to congratulate the them on their successful completion of the race!

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.