Wounded warriors deserve help when they return

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Wounded warriors deserve help when they return

Post by Accer on Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:01 pm

Between 1902 and 1904, Canada established its first militia, and since that time has been involved in two world wars, peacekeeping missions and several conflicts including Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

All told, 114,000 Canadians gave their lives as members in service to their country. There are currently about 600,000 Canadian Forces veterans.

Their service to our country is so valuable. War is gruesome and indiscriminate. It doesn’t care how old you are, what racial background you are from, what your sexual orientation or gender identity is, your marital status, or how wealthy you are. War rips apart families and even entire communities. An unprepared, unequipped fighting force leaves a country vulnerable. That is why even in peacetime it is essential that our armed services are always ready and prepared.

When someone volunteers to enter the armed forces, they do so for many reasons. They want to serve their country, they want a better financial situation, they want an education they can’t get through the university or college system, or they do so because of a family tradition. Each one of them recognizes that when they sign their name, they are doing so understanding that they may sacrifice their life.

Nevertheless, the service in itself is a great sacrifice. There are long deployments away from home — dangerous and risky assignments. Even in peacetime, soldiers and sailors give their lives in service to their country. It is vital that we never trivialize one’s service. I have a great deal of respect for anyone who has performed military service for their country, and we as Canadians should too.

When I speak about military service, I am often told by others that Canada shouldn’t be involved in a war in the first place. Our mission should be only peacekeeping and national defence, and I couldn’t agree more. However, a veteran’s service to their country is mutually exclusive of narratives about war, and it’s time we start separating these narratives.

This Remembrance Day, I honour the 600,000 Canadian Forces veterans and other veterans who make their home in Canada. The importance of their sacrifice should never be forgotten, and we as the people of Canada can do a great deal more for our war dead and veterans who served our nation so proudly.

More funding for health care, education, mental health, housing and financial support are paramount to achieving the goal of honouring our veterans. I am hoping this year you will join me in giving financial aid to the Veteran’s Transition Network (vtncanada.org) who assists our veterans in these areas. I also would like to encourage our member of Parliament from Caledon-Dufferin to address the constituency about what action he is explicitly taking in ensuring that veterans’ issues of PTSD, homelessness, and others are being addressed.

When we wear the poppy this season, let us remember the sacrifice of our veterans, and recognize that there is still a great deal of work left to do.

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