Remembrance

Remembrance

This year’s Remembrance Day / Veteran’s Day seemed especially thought-provoking to me.

Whether any of the wars and conflicts since WWII have been wise is a separate topic. What’s on my mind is the men and women who have served and sacrificed.

The suicide rates. The PTSD.

The reality that governments ask young people to give their limbs and lives, and yet treat them poorly on their return is…unconscionable.

We don’t address this issue enough.

This piece by Rick Mercer from a year ago, says it well:

This year, this:

“Veterans Affairs Canada Has Returned $1.1 Billion Of Unspent Funds Since 2006”

LINK >

OTTAWA – Veterans Affairs Canada has returned $1.13 billion to the federal treasury in unspent funds since the Conservatives came to power in 2006 — cash that critics say should have gone towards improved benefits and services.

The figure, which surfaced this week in the House of Commons, has led to renewed criticism of the Harper government, which is already smarting over its frayed relations with disgruntled former soldiers.

By Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press
11/19/2014

“Veterans plea for military to join protest of Harper government”

LINK >

Vet Ron ClarkeOTTAWA – A group of angry veterans, who want the Harper government defeated in the next election, is appealing to serving members of the military to join them in protest.

Ron Clarke, a member of Canada Coalition for Veterans who has been campaigning against the closure of Veterans Affairs offices, made the appeal today during a Parliament Hill newsconference.

It may put those in uniform in an awkward position, but Clarke says they need a government that looks after veterans.

By CP Staff

“Suicide claims more soldiers than those killed by Afghan combat”

LINK >

OTTAWA—Canada’s military is under pressure to do more to look after the mental health of its soldiers after new statistics show the armed forces have lost more personnel to suicide than those killed in combat in Afghanistan.

NDP MP Jack Harris said the “shocking” numbers should prompt the Conservative government to “redouble” its efforts to assist soldiers in need of help.

“It underscores the complaints that soldiers have been making, that families have been making, that this is a real problem that is not being fully addressed,” Harris said Tuesday in an interview.

The latest statistics from the defence department reveal 160 personnel have committed suicide between 2004 and March 31, 2014.

By Bruce Campion Smith
Sep 16, 2014

USA – Veteran Suicides:

2013_05_VeteranSuicides

Bryan Adams’ portrait of British Corporal Ricky Furgusson:

Corporal Ricky Furgusson

From this article.

Encouraging notes:

I was impressed with Lisa Ling’s hour long special on Veterans researching Ayahuasca for PTSD treatment. Ayahuasca is an important topic that I’ll write about more in the future. I found her reporting balanced and interesting, showing the positive and possible negative sides.

“…the veterans don’t want to be sedated anymore.”

WATCH:

 

I was impressed that a website client of mine – Dark Horse Flyer – donated some sales of their CD to: Wounded Warrior Project.

In Canada there is: woundedwarriors.ca.

If this post spoke to you, maybe you’ll make a donation too.

UPDATE 11/22:
Interesting tweet spotted today: