This Soldier’s Life Is A Good One
Dec 16, 2013Posted by james

When Dominic Larocque was growing up in Canada, he was about as active as any young man. He played hockey up to the Junior A level, top-tier football for his school and competitive soccer for his city.

So when Larocque turned 18 during 2005, he decided he would use all his energy to serve his country. He enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces. Within two years, he would be deployed to Afghanistan.

About four months into his tour, on November 27, 2007, Larocque’s life took a drastic turn. A light armored vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device (IED). He and two colleagues were taken by helicopter to a hospital.

Three days later, Larocque woke to a shock. He was missing his left leg, amputated above the knee. Eventually, he was fitted with a prosthesis. He had to learn how to live again, not an easy task when just standing was difficult.

After about three years, Larocque adapted to his new limb. He entered the work force. Then, he realized that a void existed from his pre-military life. He needed to find a sport that he could play.

Of the sports he had played as a youth, football and soccer were out of the question. But hockey presented an interesting option. “Soldier On,” a program that helps former military personnel become involved in sports, arranged to have a Montreal sledge hockey team run a clinic. Larocque was there, and the clinic scored with him.

He began playing for the Montreal Transats sledge hockey team every other weekend. Soon after, he was a member of Canada’s national team and then part of the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Calgary. Besides filling his competitive void, Larocque said his experience with sledge hockey has given him some additional perspective on how his life turned one fateful day in Afghanistan.

“It’s helped me so much meeting people from across Canada who have had various accidents or were maybe born with defects,” he said. “It’s made me realize that I don’t have it so bad.”

That’s certainly putting life into perspective, and we can learn a lot from Dominic. For me, the next time something just doesn’t work out with a client, or when one of my proposals doesn’t win the bid, I will recall Dominic’s story and realize that I really don’t have it so bad.


A Time Managed Scholar Athlete
Dec 02, 2013Posted by james

A high school senior in Wisconsin downplays his time-management skills to balance a challenging class schedule, athletics and music.

“If there’s an opportunity to do something, I want to do it,” said Greg Greif. “I enjoy them all so why not do them.”

One of the top academic high school seniors in the nation, Greif is involved in the application process for consideration as a National Merit Scholar Finalist. In sports, he is a runner, spending all four high school years on the varsity team. As a musician, he plays the saxophone in the school jazz band and he also plays the piano.

Other activities for Grief include math league and forensics. Even when he watches television, he takes the same time-management approach.

“I want it to be something that will be useful to me like watching the news or an educational show. Otherwise, I want to be reading, practicing the piano or studying.”

As a cross country runner, Grief has finished as high at 25th place in the state meet. On a local level, he has placed first a number of times. But, whenever he is asked about his accomplishments, the conversation quickly turns to the team’s goals.

This student athlete is interested in astrophysics and physics. Along with running and music, he seems always to be busy. A well-managed schedule, discipline to practice on and off the sports field, a can-do attitude and teamwork certainly will follow him into college and the universe beyond.