When Canadian soldiers returned from World War II, local business and community leaders formed committees to ensure vets had jobs and the support they needed to start a new life. It's time to re-examine that idea. Soldiers deserve more than a handshake when their service ends. "Support our Troops" must be more than an empty slogan on a bumper sticker.
Although comparing a broken bone to an amputated limb is not at all analogous, a civilian who loses a limb to a workplace injury is not provided anywhere near the compensation for such a tragedy as would a military member, who in all cases, is fully aware and prepared before deployment of the dangers involved in their jobs.
I know PTSD. I live it. I am assailed by the images every day; images which have made me fall to my knees as flashbacks so vivid and ugly wrapped themselves around my eyes like a blindfold. The incident plays on a constant loop in my broken brain, sometimes slowing down long enough to allow me a moment to breathe; other times the nightmare so real I forget I'm no longer that young child pinned underneath a grown man.
There continues to be a constant barrage of misinformation regarding Canada's Veterans. In total, our Government has invested almost $5 billion new dollars that has been put towards rehabilitation, re-training, and medical and financial benefits. I will continue to seek to fully pay homage to the depth of sacrifice of Canada's Veterans.
Canadian citizens may be shocked to learn that the Canadian Forces do not have the same Charter Rights as the rest of us. They give up those rights when they enlist. Maybe this law makes sense for the military -- it is used to suppress mutiny and rebellion, but at the same time, these are the people who are risking their lives for our freedom. Don't they deserve better?
In a blog post, NDP MP Irene Mathyssen claimed the government isn't doing enough to support veterans. Yet while we have doubled the number of Operational Stress Injury (OSI) clinics, Mathyssen's party voted against this measure. I find it difficult to reconcile the idea of calling for more support while voting against those initiatives.