Former peacekeeper proud to shift gears and add diploma to his toolbox – Vancouver Island Free Daily
Ken Himes was raised in a military family, so it’s no surprise to him that he himself entered the military when he was young.
He trained at bases in Greater Victoria and California in 1985, and found himself in the midst of centuries-old combat when he was transferred to the Middle East as a Canadian member of the Force. United Nations peacekeeping mission in 1988.
“I worked in the special forces in Cyprus where Greece and Turkey have been at war for hundreds of years,” said the resident of Langford. “They have a line called the demarcation or the green zone and it runs through all of Cyprus, where I patrolled to make sure neither side brought weapons to the border of the zone. green. “
The dichotomy was interesting, he told himself.
As Turkey took its military duties very seriously and always wore its professional, well-groomed uniforms, he remembered the Greeks looking much more relaxed as they smoked happily in their casual T-shirts on the other side.
When the guns were brought into the Green Zone, Himes, then 23, found himself negotiating with much older men – who did not speak English – to put away their .50 caliber machine guns.
âBecause of this, I am constantly on high alert, even to this day,â he said, which he is working on as he begins to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.
His dentist, who noticed Himes grinding his teeth, was the first person to report that he may be suffering from PTSD.
As Himes reflected on the impact of his past on him, he expressed pride in the fact that United Nations peacekeepers won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.
“However, I really don’t consider myself a hero – there are a lot of other men I know so worthy of the title.”
After his return, Himes joined the Army Reserves in Victoria, where he taught basic training and leadership courses.
A jack-of-all-trades, he also worked part-time as a doctor and full-time at the post office – but the long, exhausting hours as he switched from job to job without a break reached him afterwards. some times.
Eventually he was exhausted and needed hip replacement surgery, so he left his many jobs behind. He explained that having fairly flat feet caused nerve damage from his legs to his hips, due to the running required of him during his days in the military. Between the years, Himes, now 59, has accumulated years of experience as an announcer in sports such as boxing and hockey.
Another point of pride is the fact that he has grown from a man with a grade 9 education level to someone who recently completed a public relations degree program at the University of Victoria.
With a booming classic radio voice that sounds ideal for an announcer / broadcaster, Himes seeks to further his career in the entertainment world, as he comes to terms with the lasting effects of his military career. He’s creative, music and art lover, and has posters of Led Zeppelin and all of rock and roll greats lining the walls of his house where he lives with his dog, Tobias. He has also helped plan events and provided security for Joe Walsh, Alice Cooper, Barenaked Ladies and other artists who have performed in the area in recent years.
“My greatest gift in this life is my voice, and I want to use it more than anything to make a difference in the world.”
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