When Master Cpl. Jody Mitic ran the Army Run half marathon last September, he did it to prove to himself that he could still be a soldier, despite losing both legs below the knee to a landmine in Afghanistan three years earlier.
But by completing that race, Mitic became an inspiration and role model to all Canadians, said Charles Pallett, a Grade 7 student from Fisher Park Public School.
Pallett’s essay about Mitic won the top prize out of 1,800 submissions to the A&E Lives That Make a Difference Essay Contest.
In a surprise appearance yesterday, Mitic presented Pallett with a $2,000 prize for winning the contest.
Mitic said he was honoured and humbled that someone would write about him for an essay contest about people whose lives have made a difference.
“When I set out on my career, when I was 17, I never imagined that someone like Charles would ever call me a national hero and an inspiration. I just wanted to be the best soldier I could be,” said Mitic.
Pallett said he chose to write about Mitic because he felt he could relate to his struggles and it helped him put his own problems into perspective. “His story can inspire me to work harder and be better.”