It’s worth repeating what Canadian Vets say

I am browsing through comments to find testimonies by wounded / traumatized Canadian vets who have served in Afghanistan and are now talking about their treatment by the government since they’ve returned home.     

New submission from a daughter of a vet August 21, 2010:   

“My dad was born in Canada and served with the Canadian forces in WWII. He became an American citizen in the 1950s, but when he was in his 90s and he wanted to live with me, he was not allowed to get his citizenship back – the judgement was that he would be a burden to the healthcare system.   

“He lived with me for six years until his death, but we had to travel back and forth to the States for his healthcare, constantly applying for extentions to a visitors permit, under the threat that at any time, he could be refused entry and eventually I had to leave him there and he died alone.   

“I had to go to a U.S. court to get guardianship at one point, and it was humiliating to admit to a shocked judge and the whole court, that my country doesn’t respect or honour its veterans. It was my experience in dealing with Veterans Affairs that, once out of uniform, it is the veteran who is the enemy.”    

Posted on the CBC August 20, 2010:       

“I am a Vet from Afghanistan, I was shot in the leg during an operation, It shattered my femur. I now have a limp, rod and pins in my leg, pain everyday in my hip and knee as well as my thigh. My first payout was 27,000 for my femur fracture and scars. They did not include my knee or hip pain which some days keeps me in bed.       

Enduring sand storms in Afghanistan


“I am now fighting for the rest of my payout because they told me my hip and knee pain had nothing to do with getting a AK47 round blown through my leg. I had to do all my own paper work and go to the hospital on my own to meet with a specialists to get my payout determined. 
“On a side note, my father, while I was on work up, was in a motorcycle accident, got two scars on his knees and dislocated his thumb, Manitoba Public Insurance took all the paper work and a year later came to his house and did a exam on him. His payout…..$32,000. Seems unfair that a company that looks after population of over a million people can do a better job then a company that has to look after lets say 300,000.       

“I think they just want people to get tired of fighting for their money. It’s been almost three years now since I was shot. Unreal. Makes me sick to my stomach. And people out there that think I am whining… if they said I would get nothing then I would be fine with it, I would still have gone overseas to help those people out. But for pete’s sake, someone with a dislocated thumb got a higher payout then me!”       

An RCAF vet wrote:
“I am on 10% disability from 1982 and recently am enduring a run-around regarding a part of my settlement. I do not have a life-threatening issue, but I am disgusted with some the lack of treatment afforded our war-time and cold war Veterans. The beaurecrats should be expunged from their positions if this country was run as honourably as it is supposed to be. The Veterans who served honourably, according to the oath they took, deserve better. Those at the elected and appointed trough also took an oath, but that was an oath without honour.”
An interesting proposal:
“Bureaucrats who denigrate and devalue veterans in uniform and out or their tangible contribution to the entire spectrum of Cdn society need to take a 90-day trip on a Refugee Ship bound for Canadian Shores. Vets should go too given its win-win for both groups. Veterans would only endure 90 days on a bad boat ride to avoid the years of stonewalling, marginallization, disrespect which comes with the bonus bureaucratic red tape when trying to get svcs out of Veterans affairs. Being treated like a refugee, Vets would receive health care and be provided free lodging, transport and meals at the government’s expense and would be able to draw on welfare in lieu of the Employment Insurance they paid but can never claim. The 4,200 bureaucrats in Veterans Affairs + Treasury Board outnumbering the number of soldiers deployed in Afghanistan by 1,600. Would either die from the hardship of the voyage or have time to appreciate what soldiers and refugees share in their willingness to risk life for the honor of holding Canadian passports. On landing, Bureaucrats would cash in for disability and Post Tramatic Stress having endured a voyage and conditions which violate every rule in their Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Labor Code laws. Bonuses to boot with overtime entitlements for working more than 37.5 hours a week on their voyage. With hands-on experience, the millions of dollars in compensation a Civil Servant takes for granted may not be as much of a liability when considerd by our Treasury Board Bureaucrats who prefer a dead soldier over a wounded one. Neither Politician nor Bureaucrat should forget that Soldiers do not have jobs. They chose to serve their country 24/7 (w/o overtime) in service of all Canadian. Bleeding or Dying for defending Canadian Values deserves respect”
From the son of a WWII vet:
“Thank you for the update regarding Veteran Affairs and the treatment of our vets by our VA and government. As you know, I had first-hand experience dealing with VA on behalf of my late father and my experience was appalling to say the least.
“You are absolutely correct when you say better off dead then wounded, and both my father and I agreed with that.  Many times he said that all he wanted was to just die rather than suffer with the pain and lack of respect and consideration for his injuries, pain and suffering, let alone the sacrifice veterans like my father made wounded in action fighting for our country, our allies and our freedoms.

“I have to say the VA doctor was the absolute worst of the lot of them at the VA office.  The examination and treatment of my father by the VA doctor was cruel and undignified in my opinion, and the pain he put my father through in order to conduct his exam was inhumane.  I’m certain there’s a special place reserved in Hell for that bastard.      

“My father was a very proud man, as are many of the WWII veterans I have met over the years, and my father didn’t complain and simply did what the doctor told him, even though it was excruciatingly difficult and painful for him and at the end of the exam the doctor said my father was just fine and refused our request for therapy and aids and additional support so he could live more comfortably and in less pain.
“In the end, my father did not die because his heart gave out;  he died from his life-long pain and suffering resulting from his wounds, injuries and many surgeries; so you are right in saying that our vets are better off dead then surviving with their wounds and disabilities.

“Many of the Vets I met are too proud at ask for help and those that have requested assistance seem to be bogged down in paperwork and forms and red tape, which I know first-hand takes incredibly long to process and get an approval, which was frustrating for me, so I can only imagine how difficult and frustrating it has been and continues to be for our Vets and their families to get support for our Vets. I’m sure this is why many of the Vets and their family members have given up asking for the assistance they need because they believe they will simply be turned down.      

“It seems to me, at least in my father’s case, that the VA and government simply want to put our Vets in long term care facilities and hope they won’t be too much trouble or expense.  My father needed a wheelchair when he began to decline, and you would think when a person can no longer stand or walk and their doctor says he should be in a wheelchair that VA would provide one right away…no God Damn way that happened!  The forms and approval process took weeks and VA provided him with a temporary transportable wheelchair until they could properly assess his case and have an OT measure him for a wheelchair.  This process took the better part of six months to get my father a wheelchair, which is ridiculous.  Many of the things my father needed or would make him more comfortable I simply went out and bought for him only to find out after I submitted the bills that they were refused because I failed to get prior approval. This approval process often took months because my father needed to be seen by a doctor or specialist and some appointment took months to get in so was I supposed to let him suffer…No I got him what the health care professionals advised would be best for him despite what the ass holes at VA said. Society as a whole cares more about animals then our people and especially our Vets.      

“Shame on our government and shame on those in our VA who allow our
Vets to be treated so disgracefully.”      

From a daughter of vets:
“Both of my parents are WWII veterans. I hate to say it, but it appears that Canadian governments have a tradition of treating soldiers that serve in the military very shabbily indeed. These latest events simply confirm that the tradition is alive and well in the 21st Century. The issues presented here require genuine leadership based on an understanding of what a soldier experiences in peace time and in war. Indeed, it would take a leader with the courage to understand deeply the horrors of war and what a human life is worth. Clearly this is a task far beyond the capabilities of the current government.”
An invitation worth considering:
“Why should we take care of our veterans and their families or even help pay for their REHAB,or benifits of any kind.Thank you for our freedom and us able to walk and live not in fear for our lives. But How Dare Them.Do they not know we have more important obligations in this country like paying and looking after a bunch of law breaking so called refugees who just show up in a ship at our doorstep.We have to be good humanitarians to people who just pick a country to go to and not the closest country and get on a boat for four months and pay up to$45,000 dollars per person to jump in the front of the immigration line.Now when they get here all of a sudden they have no money “FUNNY isn’t it”. But they will be given benifits and housing and money “NO QUESTIONS ASKED”.Our BRAVE Soldiers who have risked their lives for our freedom and specialy the older soldiers who are nearing the end of their lives cannot be treated with a little dignity.This is “DISGUSTING.” It is time for Canadians to make a stand and let’s pick a day of protest and fight back for our VETERANS at every government building in the country. THANK YOU TO ALL THE VETERANS FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE FOR US. “HARPER YOU SHOULD BE DISGUSTED AT YOURSELF FOR SHOWING UP IN FRANCE AND PUTTING ON A FACE OF A CONCERNED P.M.”
A common sentiment … unfortunately:
“More stupidity from the Conservative government. The Conservatives have no respect for any Canadian, whether they be in the military or not. They have shown over and over again that when a Canadian is in trouble, they are not there to help. Shame on them for not providing for injured soldiers. These people risk their lives and when injured should be taken care of for life in the same way as they would have taken care of themselves had they not been injured. Harper is so afraid of the truth that he gets ridd of anyone who dares speak the truth. In most of the world they call this an authoritarian government. In Canada’s case, thank God all we have to do is bounce them out of office at the next election. I personnaly would never join the armed forces. I don’t trust the government to do the right thing!”

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About Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen

Bonnie's Blog Posts invite our readers and free spirits everywhere to share life's adventures with us. I talk about writing my novels, reading books, chatting with other writers and John's and my journeys around the world. We welcome your anecdotes to our experiences and discussions.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan vets, Canadian Armed Forces, Homecoming Vets, post traumatic stress disorder, suicide, veterans' affairs, veterans' assistance programs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to It’s worth repeating what Canadian Vets say

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