A ‘Wray’ of hope with Soldier On

Nicole Wray, Soldier On Regional Coordinator for B.C., stands in front of a promotional poster at her office in Nelles Block. Wray says she is eager to begin her new job of assisting mentally and physically injured currently serving and retired military members find paths to recovery through sport and activity. Photo credit: Soldier On

Nicole Wray, Soldier On Regional Coordinator for B.C., stands in front of a promotional poster at her office in Nelles Block. Wray says she is eager to begin her new job of assisting mentally and physically injured currently serving and retired military members find paths to recovery through sport and activity. Photo credit: Soldier On

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer
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Nicole Wray brings a bounty of experience to her new position as Soldier On Regional Coordinator B.C. 

She holds a Master’s degree in sport and organizational psychology, is a researcher, a strength and conditioning coach, an avid outdoor athlete, and grew up surrounded by a  military family and the military community.

Combined, they give her unique insight into the challenges of ill and injured currently serving and retired military members – her clients – and how to help them.

“I get to combine my areas of passion and expertise to contribute to the service and support of both currently serving members and veterans,” said Wray. “I look forward to getting to know the B.C. members, strengthening their relationship with Soldier On, and growing our presence on the West Coast.”

Her job is to support members with physical and mental illnesses and/or injuries to a path of recovery through sport and exercise.

“My goal has always been to
pursue a career where I am making a positive difference and giving back to people that have supported me personally [her family] and our country collectively.”

Her grandfather served in the Army during the Cold War; her late father served in the air force; her brother currently works in the Signals Branch of the army, and many of her mentors continue to serve across the army, navy, and air force. 

This deep connection, Wray says, helps her understand the challenges and stresses of a military member’s life, including deployments, illnesses or injuries, and the death of loved ones.

“I love that Soldier On empowers members to overcome challenges and find wellbeing through sport and physical activity. I value the commitment that Soldier On has to inspiring people. In doing so, people can share their experiences to uplift others, and that contributes to a more powerful military community. No matter what their story holds, there is always hope.”

Despite the limitations of COVID 19, she is planning events and activities to help her clientele, while following provincial health and safety guidelines. She points to a recent virtual Yoga workshop as an example of connecting members to a moderate fitness activity, and is excited about an upcoming virtual creative arts workshop. She highlights the regional Facebook group for Soldier On members in B.C. as a virtual means for members to stay connected.

A special Soldier On grant program further aids her clientele by providing funding for sporting equipment so they can stay active and get involved in healthy activities.

“Many of our members have benefited from this support and this is something we are hoping to continue to build on, as well as general awareness of the events Soldier On hosts. Ultimately, we want to create a positive community and for our members to know that we are here for them.”

For more information, you can visit www.soldieron.ca, connect with Soldier On through Facebook, or email SoldierOnBC-CBSansLimites@forces.gc.ca

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