Spent over 26 years with the CAF...
In the 26 years of service with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), I have met a lot of people. Some were acquaintances, some became good friends, but they all are people I'm honoured to call brothers and sisters at arms. No matter what our differences were, no matter how we felt about each other, when shit hit the fan, we were all in it together and looking after each other is what got us through it.
But when you're battling your own demons... "they are mine, and mine alone"... that is why it's so hard to reach out... so hard to ask for help. I have lost several close friends to suicide. They never reached out, they never showed any signs. I thought if I just made myself available, let them know that I'm here to help.
I joined the ranks of Sentinel Program, a peer care and support initiative created by the Royal Canadian Chaplain Services in 2007, to learned how to assist my fellow soldiers in times of need. And now as a veteran I open my shop to members who suffer with PTSD or OSI to work on small woodworking projects or just want to have a coffee and talk.
The meaning behind ;IGY6 is this:
The semicolon is from the Project Semicolon. When an author writes a sentence and is at the point of ending it, but wants to continue, they can use a semicolon. It creates a pause. Almost like a thought, a reconsideration of the cessation of a sentence, or in this case, your life.
IGY6 stands for I Got Your 6 (back). The colours also carry a meaning. Teal is for PTSD awareness, black is for the heavy hearts that many of us carry – those who suffer from PTSD and those who have lost loved ones to suicide because of PTSD. Red is a symbol of the blood that has been shed.
The military uses the clock method to describe direction, 12 o'clock is your front, 3 and 9 o'clock is your right and left, and 6 o'clock is your back. The 6 in IGY6 means your back. That means that no matter what is going on with you, there is always someone who will have your back.
So when you combine it all, the acronym is a way of saying that if you are thinking about taking your life, PAUSE, it is not time to end, I've got your back and will help you through it and stand by your side.