Day: July 1, 2015

Cracks In The System
Defence Today, Our Veterans

Cracks In The System

  A litany of complaints about Veterans Affairs Canada’s treatment of veterans has led to a ‘veterans’ revolt.’ Can new leadership at VAC inspire a culture shift, or should the system be rebuilt from the ground up?   By Sharon Adams and Adam Day  |  Photography By Louie Palu   "I know what it’s like to feel the wind on your brain,” says retired corporal Bruce Moncur. He was part of the Canadian contingent in Operation Medusa on Sept. 4, 2006, intent on routing the Taliban from Afghanistan’s Panjwaii district, about 40 kilometres west of Kandahar. He was eating breakfast with a buddy, cold beans and wieners, when two American A-10 Thunderbolt jets mistakenly opened fire on the Canadian platoon. Private Mark Anthony Graham was killed. Moncur, then 22, was one...
Defence Today, Our Veterans

Q & A with Minister O’Toole

 For the french version, click here On April 23, Legion Magazine’s editorial staff met with Minister of Veterans Affairs Erin O’Toole, Member of Parliament for Durham, for a discussion of issues related to Veterans Affairs Canada. This is the full interview:   Legion Magazine: You are a veteran yourself, serving in the Canadian Forces from 1991 to 2000 and with the reserves until 2003. So you got to watch as the forces went to war in Afghanistan. And you got to watch as the soldiers returned home, many of them having trouble fitting back in to society. You helped found the True Patriot Love Foundation. Can you describe how you felt watching the soldiers come back, watching them struggle? O’Toole: In 2001, when I was in law school, I was in a morning class and then I drove ...
Cloverdale hits the mark with Darts Championship
News

Cloverdale hits the mark with Darts Championship

The camaraderie was amazing and the darts were flying at Cloverdale Branch in Surrey, B.C., as the branch played host to the Dominion Command Darts Championships on May 1-3. The event began Saturday morning with a wreath-placing at the local cenotaph followed by a short parade to the branch. Doubles play started bright and early. Halfway through the competition, Ontario, Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia/Nunavut had already emerged as front-runners, but it was tight. After five games, the Ontario team of John Verwey and Andre Carman from Blythe, Ont., Branch was out in front with 11 points and the other three teams were tied in second at 10 points. It stayed close right until the last dart. In the final tally, Ontario ended with 21 points with the Eas...
Coast-to-coast camaraderie at cribbage championships
News

Coast-to-coast camaraderie at cribbage championships

It was a great weekend of camaraderie and cards in Spruce Grove, Alta., at the Dominion Command Cribbage Championships, held April 24-26. On Saturday morning, Spruce Grove Branch hosted the tournament’s opening ceremony, with Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston giving the opening address. “May your cards turn up so you can avoid the skunk line,” he joked to the assembled players. President Rob Coates then declared the tournament open and, without delay, play began. First up was the doubles competition. It was close from the start, but with three rounds remaining, four teams had distanced themselves from the pack. Just a few points separated them and it was anyone’s game right down to the wire. Going into the final two rounds, Saskatchewan held a slim lead with 11 points while the other...
Victory over Japan
Military History

Victory over Japan

Canada’s Pacific War contributions may have been relatively minor, but our sacrifices were no less vital   On Aug. 9, 1945, some 700 prisoners of war—including 166 Canadians—were working as slave labourers in the Omine coal mine on Japan’s Kyushu Island. The mine was situated about 160 kilometres northeast of Nagasaki. At about 10 o’clock that morning, air-raid sirens sounded and the prisoners were herded underground. When they emerged, huge clouds of smoke were rising from Nagasaki. It was soon rumoured that a special bomb had been dropped. On Aug. 15, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allies and the mine’s guards ceased confining the prisoners. But it would be weeks—long after the formal surrender was signed on Sept. 1, 1945, aboard the USS Missour...
News

John McCrae statue honours veterans

The Canadian doctor who penned the poem “In Flanders Fields” in the midst of one of the bitterest battles of the First World War has been commemorated in Ottawa with a statue. The statue of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae was unveiled May 3 during a ceremony in Green Island Park to mark the centennials of the writing of the poem, the Second Battle of Ypres and the gas attacks at St. Julien in Belgium. Employment and Social Development Minister Pierre Poilievre, the regional minister for Ottawa, reviewed an honour guard consisting of members of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery and the Royal Canadian Medical Service. The RCA Band provided music and the Army Voices choir sang an arrangement of “In Flanders Fields” and a medley of First World War songs. Attending were a number of ...

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