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We discuss Gordon’s career, struggles with suicide ideation, and transition to civilian life.
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Master Corporal (Retired) Gordon Hurley is a fifteen-year Canadian Military veteran. In 2008, with little training, he was added as a late replacement to the Reconnaissance platoon. He wasn’t meant to be there. It took until an Improvised Explosive Device went off, requiring surgery at Kandahar Airfield with three weeks of recovery, to be integrated into the platoon. Returning to operations meant suppressing not only the physical but also mental injuries caused by the IED. “The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it.” – Lt. Spiers. The closeness of death, not just that incident but war in general, allowed Gordon to accept death. This is an extraordinary power to have, providing ‘control’ over fear. He transitioned from Reconnaissance platoon to the highest full spectrum operations at CANSOFCOM as a special forces operator and joint terminal attack controller. This ‘fly too close to the sun mentality’ has dire side effects, including suicide. If you are already okay with dying, then what makes you stop?