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Burlington veteran putting out a call for locals who served
April 27, 2019
April 27, 2019
Greg Wilkinson is putting a callout to fellow veterans in the Burlington-area looking to join a veteran's group. April 25, 2019 - Roland Cilliers/Metroland
Serving in the military is a unique experience, and it can be hard for civilians to really relate.
That’s why Burlington’s Greg Wilkinson is putting the call out to locals to join Veterans DND Canada. The nationwide veterans-only organization is designed to provide support and fellowship for those who served.
The group makes use of a military-style crest that members can wear.
“When we turned in our kit, by the time you’re done, you’re no longer your rank. You’re just Mr. or Mrs., and there’s no association of who you are anymore towards the military. So when you come out there’s no patch or even an ID card saying this is who we are,” said Wilkinson.
"When we wear the vests or the shirts that have the military-style crest, it makes us feel that we still belong to the military — it gives that association."
“So when we wear the vests or the shirts that have, the military style crest, it makes us feel that we still belong to the military — it gives that association. It makes us feel like we belong.”
Open to retired and serving members of all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces, the group aims to provide support for those who might need it and to keep members up to date on issues in the veteran community.
Wilkinson served six years in the military in both the regular and reserve forces. He believes there is a significant advantage to the organization being strictly for veterans, as opposed to something like the legion, which includes civilians.
“Because it’s veterans-only, when you go to a meeting you know it’s veterans-only, so you can relate to them,” said Wilkinson. “Where you go to the legion, sit down with a bunch of civilians, you can’t sit and talk about your time in the military. When you talk about your time in the military, you aren’t going to get any feedback from the other ones. You’re not getting that interrelation with another veteran to be able to chat about the story — you’re basically just telling your story.”
In addition to acting as a social group, Veterans DND Canada is also a resource for those who might be having a challenging time.
“If you’re a veteran, I feel it’s important to join a group like mine just for the fact it’s also a peer support group. So if something’s going on in your life or you're having difficulty adjusting to civilian life and you need someone to talk to, we’re there. You don’t always get that, because you don't know who to turn to,” said Wilkinson.
For more information, or to apply for membership, visit the organization's website at https://www.veteransdndcanada.com/
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