Yesterday, Remembrance Day, I participated in our local Remembrance Day service, along with many of my neighbours. At one point, a person representing our Federal Government, laid a wreath “to honour then servicemen and women who gave their lives in the service of their country.” It’s a fine sentiment, but, in this case it seemed ironic, even cynical for such an act to occur.
All over the country yesterday, people saw our Federal Government “honouring…” members of the Armed Services. All of these were cynical acts when seen in the light of a recent decision made in the Department of Veterans Affairs. As many of you may know, personnel who remain in the Armed Services for ten years are eligible for a fully indexed pension for the remainder of their life.
Veterans Affairs has recently begun to evaluate and assess service personnel in the final year of their service to determine if they are “fit to be deployed.” Those found to be unfit to be deployed, are promptly discharged. Because they are terminated prior to the tenth anniversary of their enlistment, they will receive no pension.
It is shocking to discover some of the reasons for personnel being judged at “unfit to be deployed.” Amputation of a limb is one cause; blindness caused by shrapnel is another; ongoing PTSD is a third reason. The list is long, It reveal that our government is denying a pension to any wounded or damaged member who cannot be fit for further service. Their discharge occurs in the months just prior to their tenth anniversary of service.
In other words, we cheat our most vulnerable Vets – the wounded, the damaged, the crippled – of the means of their future support. To save money on the backs of people who have volunteered their lives, and been damaged as a result is a cynical and heartless policy that should be terminated forthwith. Shame on our government for such behavior.
I would urge your readers to call their MP’s office to protest this policy change. We owe to our damaged young people.