Play about PTSDKILL ZONE A LOVE STORY will run at the Sir James Dunn Theatre, 6101 University Avenue, Halifax from June 12 – June 16, 2013 https://flavors.me/heattheatre#601/tumblr
New Veterans Charter
Saying it had to modernize to reflect the new, unwrinkled face of the Canadian veteran, the federal government revamped legislation governing benefits for retiring and disabled soldiers in 2006. The New Veterans Charter, introduced by the Liberals under Paul Martin, backed by all parties and passed by the newly elected Harper Conservatives, was designed to meet the complex needs of veterans from the war in Afghanistan.
Young soldiers didn't want to sit at home, waiting for a cheque in the mail, reasoned the government. They wanted work in civilian society and to live fulfilled lives. The Veterans Charter would provide that by offering improved counselling, vocational training and one-on-one case management.
Veterans at the time warned that the new charter would drastically cut disability payments at a time when thousands were coming home wounded from Afghanistan. The changes, critics said, were all about saving the government millions at the expense of soldiers permanently disabled in the line of duty. As it turned out, these CRITICS WERE CORRECT.
© Copyright The Edmonton Journal
Afghanistan Mission Stats
•39,558 Number of Canadian Afghan veterans (defined by having spent 30 or more days in-country)
•4,181 Number of veterans receiving disability benefits whose disabilities are directly related to their service in the Afghanistan mission, as of Dec. 31, 2011.
•40 Number of veterans who did five tours
•3,680 Number of female Afghan veterans (9.3 per cent of total)
•338 Approximate number of female veterans receiving disability benefits directly related to service in Afghanistan
•158 Number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan
•82 Number of dead who were from rural communities
•579 Number of veterans with injuries related to service in Afghanistan from Edmonton, the highest of any single city
•63 Percentage of veterans who were married or in common-law relationships
•635 Number of Canadian soldiers wounded in action in Afghanistan between 2001-2011
•1,412 Number of Canadian soldiers injured in non-battle situations in Afghanistan between 2001-2011
•8 Estimated percentage of Canadian soldiers suffering Afghanistan-related PTSD
•5.2 Estimated percentage of Canadian soldiers suffering other Afghanistan-related mental health issues
Department of National Defence, Library of Parliament, Veterans Affairs Canada, Office of the Veterans Ombudsman
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Bonnie Toews is a former business journalist reporting for logistics and private security magazines and now a novelist, speaks out for the victims of genocide and war, from the peacekeepers and coalition forces trying to save suppressed peoples to the children and innocent civilians caught in the crossfire of opposing powers, ideologies and cultures. Current writing "Trilogy in Treason." Member of Military Writers Society of America, American Authors Association and ACFW.
Soldier’s widow believes in his mission.
Mishelle Brown, widow of Warrant Officer Dennis Raymond Brown recently killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, made her husband proud, though it was from beyond the grave. She responded to Prime Minister Harper’s comments on CNN that Canadian and other foreign armies can’t beat the Taliban.
“We may not be able to beat the Taliban. There’s lots of things in our life we can’t beat— obesity, child pornography, crime. But do you give up? Do you stop? Absolutely not,” Mishelle Brown said. “One person can’t make a difference. But if we band together, we can.”
In response to those who want to pull our troops out of Afghanistan, retired General Lewis Mackenzie said in his Globe & Mail column that Prime Minister Harper was not making a political statement when he said we can’t beat the Taliban. He stated a fact. “Insurgencies rarely totally disappear. The objective is to reduce them to a manageable scale where they have little impact on the day-to-day lives of the victim country’s population. Much like organized crime in a large American city – or, for that matter, a Canadian city, given the influence of street gangs in the past decade. Violent crime exists, and there are areas in some cities you should avoid; but the level of crime does not cause the average citizen to ask: ‘For safety’s sake, perhaps the better option is to join the bad guys.’
“The objective in a counterinsurgency is to isolate the insurgents from the support they coerce from the general population through fear and intimidation and to cause their influence to be irrelevant. While the military has a key role to play in achieving this isolation, opportunistic and even frequent victories over the insurgents will not, on their own, guarantee ‘victory’.”
We all need to remember: without the dedication of our troops, we would not enjoy the freedom to debate whether we do bring them home or not.
Postscript: Today another soldier was killed by a roadside bomb, Trooper Marc Diab, 22, an immigrant young man from Lebanon who had every reason to live yet proudly served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Diab’s death brings our total to 112. Four of his comrads were wounded, three seriously, and they will be flown to Germany and then home to Canada. They too need our prayers for healing along with prayers for comfort for Diab’s family.