Call me a soldier, not a veteran

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Call me a soldier, not a veteran

Post by Forcell on Tue 07 Nov 2017, 4:36 pm



“Thank you for your service.”

“I didn’t do nothing’,” I replied.

***

“Thank you for your service?”

I thought about those words all day after a young Air Cadet and I struck up a conversation while he was selling poppies.

As I was shoving a couple of toonies in his poppy box, I told him that I served five years in the reserves Lorne Scots infantry regiment until 2010, and asked him if he was planning on making the military a career.

Although Veterans Affairs Canada labels me a veteran because I completed basic training and was honourably discharged, the “veteran” label makes me extremely uncomfortable, and not one I want to wear.

I am simply unworthy of the designation, and believe it belongs to those who placed themselves in harm’s way during deployment and foreign operations, but if you want to thank me for being a soldier fine — but I am not a veteran.

Very few Canadians join the military, and my service is the proudest accomplishment in my life, but when I would go into Tim Hortons for a coffee wearing my fatigues, I felt like a fraud when generous strangers offered to pay for my coffee.

Despite my protests, these kind souls wouldn’t take no for an answer.

https://www.theifp.ca/opinion-story/7807541-column-call-me-a-soldier-not-a-veteran/
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Re: Call me a soldier, not a veteran

Post by Trooper on Tue 07 Nov 2017, 6:28 pm

Definition of a Veteran


Any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who successfully underwent basic training and is honourably discharged.

When people think of Veterans, many immediately picture someone who served in the First World War, Second World War or the Korean War. While many Canadians recognize these traditional Veterans, the same may not always be true for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veterans—those who served Canada since the Korean War.

In fact, some former CAF members don’t even see themselves as Veterans. Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) wants to change this and is working to ensure CAF Veterans receive the honour and recognition they have earned and so richly deserve.

VAC considers any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who releases with an honourable discharge and who successfully underwent basic training to be a Veteran.

This Veteran status recognizes the risk CAF members assume by wearing the uniform and pledging allegiance. Canada’s modern-day Veterans are carrying on the traditions, values and legacy of wartime Veterans and all Canadians, especially our youth, should be aware of their accomplishments and sacrifices.

Please note that other criteria, in addition to Veteran status, are needed to qualify for services from the Department.

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/mandate
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Re: Call me a soldier, not a veteran

Post by Dameon on Tue 07 Nov 2017, 6:36 pm

When you put on the uniform, regardless of how you serve, you enter into a world that no civilian will ever fully understand. For good or ill. That makes you a brother/sister. Ironically, most of us do not realize how profound that relationship is until we get much older. I was in the military for 21 years, and not until I released did I truly understand the connection that makes us worthy of the term "Veteran".

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