Friday, November 2, 2012

Canadian Veterans' fight continues - against their own government

Ten years on from the beginning of the current phase of the Global War on Terror, returning Veterans around the world are having to fight for the help/benefits they have earned in harsh combat zones.  In the US, the VA is broken and Veterans struggle to access what was promised to them, after they have honorably served their country.  In Britain, same thing.

Canada is no exception, and this last week, Canadian Veterans took another step in ensuring that the Canadian government step up and honour their part of a contract we as a country make with ALL our Military.

From Vancouver Province newspaper:

Afghan veterans launch class-action bid against feds over disability payments

  Port Moody’s Kevin Berry among group that says lump sum isn’t enough

 By Susan Lazaruk, The Province October 30, 2012

A B.C. soldier is among a group of Afghanistan war veterans who have filed a possible class-action lawsuit against the federal government, saying the new lump-sum disability payments aren’t enough to support them.

Kevin Berry, 29, of Port Moody, blew out both his knees while fighting in Afghanistan for seven months in late 2003 and early 2004.

He also suffered from the emotional effect of losing three fellow soldiers who were killed in action and witnessing the serious injuries of several others.

Berry suffered permanent damage to his knees after he continued serving and carrying heavy loads with braces on his knees, according to a statement of claim filed on his other soldiers’ behalf to force the government to compensate the injured veterans at the same level it did with vets of earlier wars....

Read the rest here.

Kevin Berry is one of the public faces of this national lawsuit that has been launched.  Read more on Kevin in this article.

Given the current missions, it should be no surprise to anyone that we have an increase in Veterans. As the last of WW1 Veterans has died, and the Veterans from WW2 continue to die, the face of Veterans has changed.  Jeff Rose-Martland writes:

The Myths We Believe About Canadian Veterans

Posted: 10/31/2012 

With all the veterans Canada has, you wouldn't think we need an awareness campaign. There are almost a million current and former members of the Canadian Forces and RCMP; one in 35 Canadians has served our national interests. Which means that few Canadians don't know someone who has served. So everyone should be knowledgeable about veterans and the issues they face.

Yet the number one comment I hear from the veteran's community is that civilians either don't know what is happening to them or, worse, don't care. 
Read the rest here. 

"Don't care"???????  How wrong is that? 

It may be true that the Canadian government thinks they can drag their heels, and deny the RIGHTS of our honoured Veterans.  However,  it is our responsibility as a nation - as citizens - to educate ourselves on the issues that face our Veterans and DEMAND that our government fulfil their part of the contract,  made on our behalf, with our Troops.

To do any less, is a disgrace.
[For more on the lawsuit,  go to Equitas.]

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