Events and Conferences

PTSD in the Canadian Military

PTSD in the Canadian Military Header

The Peace Studies Initiative presents a lecture on post traumatic stress disorder in the Canadian military by His Honour Colonel Don Ethell, who is a soldier, peacekeeper, humanitarian and citizen of the world, followed by a roundtable discussion on PSTD with Lloyd (Tex) Leugner, Warrant Officer (Ret'd) and Richard Wright, Lieutnant-Colonel (Ret'd).

Event Details

February 2, 2017

11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Moot Court (EA1031)

Mount Royal University
4825 Mount Royal Gate SW

This event is free. No RSVP needed.

About the Speakers

His Honour, Colonel Don Ethell

Soldier, peacekeeper, humanitarian and citizen of the world, Col. Ethell joined the Canadian Army in 1956 at the age of 17 years as an infantryman with the Queens Own Rifles of Canada and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

"Commissioned from the ranks" as a Warrant Officer in 1972, he rose through various appointments to the rank of Colonel, ultimately serving in Canada's military for over 38 years. His last appointment was that of Head of Mission European Community Military Monitoring Mission Yugoslavia.

Col. Ethell is a veteran of 14 United Nations Peace Support tours, as well as serving the Canadian Government at National Defense Headquarters as Director of Peacekeeping Operations.

His United Nations responsibilities included Chief of Staff for the on-site Reconnaissance Mission in Central America, during which he developed the Peacekeeping operational plan in support of the Peace initiative put forward by Costa Rica's President Arias in 1989. The Central American Peacekeeping operations plan developed by Col. Ethell was tabled and was formally adopted by the United Nations as a peacekeeping model.

Col. Ethell is considered Canada's most experienced soldier peacekeeper, certainly one of the most decorated. His peacekeeping tours of service include missions to, and responsibilities for, the Middle East, Cyprus, Africa, throughout Central America and the former Yugoslavia, as well as service with NATO in Europe.

As Deputy Chief of Staff HQ and Commanding Officer of the Canadian Contingent UNDOF, Ethell served as the senior UN Liaison Officer between Israel and Syria in the disputed Golan Heights in 1984-85.

It was during this tour of duty that Col. Ethell planned, commanded and executed a large-scale prisoner of war and body exchange between Israel and Syria. So successful was this exchange that Ethell was next asked to organize and command the safe passage of 600 Palestinians from Israel, through Syria, to Lebanon. For these successful, humanitarian actions, Col. Ethell was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross.

Following his retirement, Col. Ethell served as military advisor to the Price Waterhouse review of the Republic of Ireland's Defense Forces. His private company, of which he was President, won Service Support contracts with United Nations Peace Support Forces in Rwanda, Angola, Namibia, Haiti, Switzerland, Italy and the Balkans.

As a humanitarian, Col. Ethell's credentials are impeccable. As a result of his witnessing many atrocities throughout his military career, he became committed to helping those less fortunate and became Security Advisor to CARE Canada, which was responsible for refugee camps in Kenya and Somalia. He also served as the Alberta Director of the International Committee for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering (ICROSS) to African Nations whose people suffer malnutrition and AIDS related illness.

Col. Ethell served on the Canadian Forces Advisory Council that contributed to the development of the New Veterans Charter and he continues to serve on the Charter's Advisory Committee. He has served as Chairman of the Operational Stress Injuries Social Structure (OSISS) Advisory Committee and the Joint VAC-DND-RCMP Mental Health Advisory Committee, both of which are committed to assisting veterans and their families.

He is a leading member of several military and charitable associations and in recognition of his many achievements; he was made a member of the Order of Alberta in 2002. In 2006, he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Among his many other awards, he is an officer of the Order of Military Merit and a Knight of the Order of St. John. In 1989, Col. Ethell was featured in Maclean's Magazine as one of Twelve Canadians Who Made a Difference.

When asked recently to describe his personal philosophy; without hesitation Colonel Ethell replied; "I have always believed in having high moral standards of trust, loyalty and integrity."

Colonel Ethell brought these characteristics to his post as Lt. Governor of Alberta (2010-2015).

Lloyd (Tex) Leugner, Warrant Officer (Ret'd)

Mr. Lloyd (Tex) Leugner, with journeyman qualifications in Automotive, Heavy Duty Mechanic and Millwright trades, was Founder, President and General Manager of Maintenance Technology International Incorporated of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada until he retired in 2007. For 30 years, the Company provided training and consulting services for clients operating industrial machinery and mobile equipment, specifically; the development and implementation of Preventive/Predictive Maintenance Management programs, Planning and Scheduling, Equipment Reliability Improvement, Troubleshooting, Failure Analyses and Lubrication. During his business career, he organized a series of annual Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technology Symposiums, which were held across Canada and the U.S.A. attracting hundreds of delegates.

A graduate of the Canadian Military School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Apprentice Training Program, Mr. Leugner spent 15 years as a technical maintenance specialist with the Canadian Army, including service with NATO in Europe and United Nations Peacekeeping missions on the Gaza Strip, Cyprus and the Sinai. He was released honourably in 1972 with the rank of Warrant Officer holding Military Master Vehicle Technician trade certification, before starting his business.

He has been a member of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers for over 45 years, has contributed many articles for the Society's publication Tribology and Lubrication Technology, has been a STLE Certified Lubrication Specialist since 1993 and served as Western Canadian Regional Vice-President of the Society from 1987−1991. During his business career, he has authored over 300 articles, troubleshooting and technical papers and written several books on topics related to industrial and mobile equipment maintenance, reliability and lubrication, including three editions of The Practical Handbook of Machinery Lubrication and the first edition of The Handbook of Machinery Troubleshooting.

He is a periodic contributor to the U.S. trade magazines, Machinery Lubrication, Power Engineering and Practicing Oil Analysis, as well as an award winning contributing writer for Toronto's Machinery and Equipment MRO magazine. For the past several years, he has served as Conference Chairman and substitute presenter for the Plant Maintenance & Asset Reliability Conferences held in Edmonton and Toronto, organized and operated by the Canadian Institute of Toronto.

He has been a member of the Royal Canadian Electrical Mechanical Engineers Military Association of Western Canada for many years and currently serves as the Association's Vice President, Membership Chairman, Special Events Coordinator and Newsletter Editor. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping and in 2013 was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Peacekeeper of the Year Award for his work as an advocate for Veterans health and pension issues. Authorized by the RCEME Association of Western Canada, he organized a successful Fundraiser for Wounded Warriors Canada in November 2014 and continued this work in 2016 as a leading member of the committee that organized and hosted the successful Calgary Gala to raise money for Veterans and First Responders suffering from PSTD.

As a volunteer military history writer, he wrote 45 of the narratives for the Calgary Military Museums mural project and is a volunteer speaker at Alberta Schools for the Canada Remembers Military Memory Project. He is married to Joylyn and lives in Cochrane, Alberta. More information may be obtained by e-mailing or by telephone (403) 932-7618.

Richard Wright,Lieutnant-Colonel (Ret'd)
LCol Wright enrolled in the Canadian Forces in September 1965 under the Regular Officer Training Plan. He completed two years at Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, BC and two years at Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, graduating in May 1969 with the degree Bachelor of Science. He received the degree Masters of Business Administration from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario in 1978.

Rick spent 38 years in service to his country in both the Militia and Regular Force. He was appointed to many staff and command positions during his career, including two Commanding Officer positions, a two-year tour with the British Army in Germany, two United Nations tours in Egypt (1974) and Cyprus (1979), and has extensive project management experience while serving in various positions in National Defence Headquarters.

Throughout his military career, and while his son was growing up, Rick volunteered to act as a coach for tee-ball, soccer and baseball. He has acted as an official (umpire, referee, and linesman) for various baseball, soccer, and rugby leagues. He also was an active member of the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association in Ottawa, Shilo and Calgary, and served as the Calgary Chapter President from 1996 to 1998.

Rick joined the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, Southern Alberta Division in September 2002 as their Projects Manager and was subsequently appointed the Director of Operations in January 2004, a position from which he retired in March 2011.

Since his retirement from the Forces, Rick has continued to volunteer his services. He was the co-director of the Calgary organizing committee in 2003 for the Centennial celebrations of the founding of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. He also volunteered to act as the President of the Calgary Branch of the RMC Club from March 2004, to March 2006, and is still a committee member as a Director-at-Large. Rick was also a volunteer member of the Board of Directors of the Communications and Electronics Branch Museum Foundation, located in Kingston, Ontario from 2005 to 2009. He served on the Board of Directors of the Royal Alberta United Services Institute from March 2007 to September 2009 and from March 2011 to date.

Rick joined the Calgary Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping in 2001, and was appointed the Calgary Branch's Project Director in 2002 for the Canada Lands Company's Garrison Green Peacekeepers Park and Buffalo Park construction projects. He has also served as the Master of Ceremonies for the Peacekeepers Day celebrations in 2003, the dedication of the Peacekeepers Park and Memorial Wall in 2004, and the dedication of Buffalo Park in 2005, and all events since. He was elected as the Alberta Director for CAVUNP in September 2004, and was appointed the National Vice President of CAVUNP in 2006, an ongoing commitment. Rick was awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in June 2009 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his ongoing support to Veterans' issues. Rick continues to provide visits to schools to talk to school children about Remembrance Day and the necessity of the Canadian Government to have a military capability.

For more information about the Peace Studies Initiative, visit