The power of teamwork, compassion, and a few pennies

Just before Christmas, the members of my unit got together to decorate our boardroom, making it a comfortable and approachable place for soldiers, veterans, and civilians. The end result goes to show you what can be achieved with a little teamwork, a little elbow grease, and a sense of humour.

I truly work with some of the most wonderful and compassionate people on the planet. At the Integrated Personnel Support Centre (IPSC), we deal with injured and ill soldiers and veterans. There is a mixture of civilian and military people who work there, with many of the civilians having been in the military. Since we all come from different perspectives, we’re able to look at all aspects of looking after our clients. My co-workers put everything they have into their work: giving up some of their weekends, evening hours, and giving their all during long weekdays. They truly care about every person who comes through the door. Each and every one of them is the ultimate professional role model.

We conduct many interviews and meetings in our boardroom, much like any other workplace. And it occurred to us that the boardroom was looking a little drab. Dismal even. Not quite the atmosphere we wanted to present to clients who are already suffering. So with some amazing ideas from our own resident designer (Raquel, you really are amazing), we all got out our paintbrushes, tape, and stencils to create the beautiful boardroom you see in the photo. What’s even more wonderful? Well, those fantastic co-workers I told you about? They all chipped in their own money to complete the decoration. Now the room is complete, lined with words that represent our soldiers. Valour. Bravery. Honour. Courage. 

You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? So you re-decorated a boardroom!” But at the end of the day, it can be so much more than that to our clients. We ensure that the IPSC is a healthy and positive environment that continually pays respect to those who serve and who have served. When you’re injured or ill, that respect can be paramount to your recovery. When you’ve given up your heath for your country, it’s nice to know that the sacrifice is appreciated.

We joke at my work because I am both a client and a worker at the IPSC. Sometimes I feel like that guy on the hair transplant commercial—”I’m a client and the President!” But being on both sides of the IPSC gives me a little bit of perspective as to how lucky we are to have such great staff and such a positive environment that contributes to the health of our soldiers and veterans.

To the staff members of the IPSC, if you’re reading this (and you better, since you work with me!), you are truly exceptional human beings. The contributions that you make on a daily basis are so fundamentally important.

I’m pretty sure there’s a little space waiting for all of you in heaven. Perhaps it needs re-decorating.


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