WWC Ambassador, Durham Region, Ontario
Born in Toronto, David Macdonald enlisted in the Canadian Army in 2005 as an infantry soldier in the Royal Regiment of Canada. Having always wanted to serve overseas, in 2008 he fulfilled his dream and deployed on Task Force 3-08 Afghanistan. As a member of the Force Protection Platoon that provided security for vulnerable supply convoys, it was common for him to lead a team that cleared the roads ahead of the convoy, searching for Improvised Explosive Devices and Taliban ambushes. He also worked extensively with local Afghan tribal leaders and other Coalition forces to further secure the peace in the war torn country.
On March 4, 2009 he was wounded when his vehicle was involved in a rollover while on patrol near Kandahar City. His injuries were extensive – broken pelvis and leg, broken ribs, crushed hand and traumatic brain injuries – which lead to coma and him having to be medically evacuated out of the country. Waking up in hospital in Germany with no memory of the incident and not being with the rest of his platoon was, if you ask him, far more traumatic than his physical injuries.
The physical challenge of recovering from these wounds would prove to be the easiest part after coming home to Canada. He had to come to terms with the depression, confusion and anger he felt when he tried to rejoin society. David went back and completed a diploma in Fire Sciences & Technical Firefighter Studies, graduating top of his class. Despite this though, he found it difficult to find work in his field of study. All these challenges and the frustration lead to further depression and he went through a divorce in 2011. It was during this time that he attempted suicide. The saving grace came in 2012 where he took part in a climb in the Himalayas. Being with the other soldiers on the team also made him realize all the feelings he was experiencing were symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress.
Since coming home, he has dedicated his life to raise support for his military family. Starting as a volunteer brand ambassador for Wounded Warriors Canada, he has risen to the position of National Partnerships Director. In this role he manages 3rd Party Projects that raise money and support for veterans and further developing awareness for veteran and military family needs in Canada. He is a regular contributor in the media on issues facing veterans today and has been featured on Metro Morning, CBC News, CTV News, Dale Goldhawk and many more. He has also proved he is physically capable again by completing the Army Run Half Marathon twice in 2013 and 2014 and completing 3 Tough Mudder Challenges all in support of his injured and ill brothers and sisters who have, like him, served this nation bravely and with honour.