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Remembrance Day has a new meaning for me after serving in the Canadian Forces

By Sean Welch, Walmart Canada Senior Fulfillment Manager

Everything looks like a mountain until you start climbing it. Reaching the peak takes one step at a time.

That’s what I learned in my time with the Canadian Armed Forces. When I graduated from university, I had two job offers: one with the military and one with Walmart Canada.

Working at Walmart allowed me to do both.

Today, I’m a Senior Fulfillment Manager working out of our Store Support Centre. I’ve been with the company for more than seven years.

I wanted to join the military because I’ve always been around it. My mother worked for CFB Borden in Ontario for 25 years. My family’s house backs onto the base. I love the military and everything it represents.

As a Second Lieutenant and a part-time reservist, I faced many challenges that tested my character. The military gave me the confidence I needed to become the person I am today. But there was one challenge in basic training that nearly broke me.

Remembrance Day is a reminder that we can do anything if we set our minds to it.
Sean Welch, Walmart Canada Senior Fulfillment Manager

I was alone in a forest in the middle of the night. I had a compass, a map and a target to hit in limited time. I had to complete this task to pass a phase of training. The pressure was on. My mind began to race.

“I don’t need this. I could be home. Should I stop? Should I keep going?”

My thoughts overwhelmed me. My heart was pounding. I started to panic.

It’s sink or swim in the military, but I didn’t come this far to drown. I knew I needed to push myself.

The military teaches you how to break down big challenges into smaller ones. I began using some of the skills I’ve learned to reduce stress and anxiety. Box breathing is a big one, so I began taking deep breaths to calm my nerves.

I put one foot in front of the other because that’s what soldiers do.

A few hours later, I reached my goal. It was mission accomplished. I’ll never forget that feeling.

In the military, you must persevere through adversity.

The bigger the obstacle, the greater the reward.

These are life lessons I apply to my work at Walmart. When things get stressful, I focus on what matters. Make the best decisions possible and do it when it counts most.

I’m so proud of my time with the Canadian Forces. Remembrance Day has a new meaning for me now. It’s about wearing a poppy, remembering our history and honouring those who served, but also so much more.

Remembrance Day is a reminder that we can do anything if we set our minds to it. Millions already have.

Lest we forget.