Day: October 16, 2017

The prince with a common touch
Front Lines, Invictus Games

The prince with a common touch

Mike Trauner was a prisoner in his own home until a few inspiring words from Prince Henry of Wales, better known as Harry, set him free. As a master corporal with 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, Trauner lost both legs and sustained other major wounds in a 2008 double bomb blast in Afghanistan. In May 2016, he was recovering from yet another surgery when he met Harry at the official launch leading to the Toronto Invictus Games. Trauner had been “trapped” at home since his last operation—one of 18—and, after a long year of slow recovery, was feeling frustrated and depressed. Then 2017 Invictus Games CEO Michael Burns invited him to Toronto. Prince Harry, founder of the Invictus Games and himself a war veteran, approached Trauner at a reception, introduced himself and asked t...
Canada’s man in Havana
Memoirs

Canada’s man in Havana

The story of a young Canadian diplomat spying on the Soviets in Cuba on behalf of the CIA with the blessing of our prime minister is improbable, but no more so than its context. This was the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when the world came within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear holocaust. The context extends to the immediate and still-perilous aftermath of that drama in which my miniscule role was played. Incidental to the story, but relevant to present-day missile rattling, is the memory of how hubris and stupidity almost brought the planet to its worst modern disaster and how, in the end, strength of character and human values on the part of the two foremost protagonists reeled the world back from the edge of the precipice. The protagonists were, of course, Nikita Khrushchev and Jo...

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