Editorial

Bringing the Invictus spirit to Canada
Editorial

Bringing the Invictus spirit to Canada

Canada’s team of ill and injured veterans excelled at the Invictus Games held in May in Orlando, Fla. The 28-member Team Canada, which included five members of the Canadian Armed Forces and 23 veterans, participated in seven adaptive sports, winning 22 medals, including 10 golds. It was the second outing for the games, founded by Prince Harry and inaugurated in London, England, in 2014. The games use adaptive sports to inspire healing and help change public perceptions of ill and injured veterans. “Our Invictus athletes are the definition of hard work and determination, and serve as a source of pride for the entire country,” said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Excitement can now shift to Canada where the games will be played in Toronto in September 2017. The Royal Canadian Legion ...
Editorial

Is it combat or not? It doesn’t matter. It’s war.

What is happening right now in Iraq is politically unclear. The main questions involve whether Canada is at war (officially, not), whether Canadian troops are on a combat mission (officially, denied) and, more importantly, whether the huge multi-pronged alliance campaign (of which Canada is a part, undeniably) will actually succeed in destroying the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is really a debate about the role politics plays in our foreign military missions. To be sure, our troops are not in Iraq as principal combatants. We will have approximately 800 soldiers there, working along with other coalition forces, to train, advise and assist the Iraqi security forces in developing their military skills so they can deal with the threat. Still that does not mean our t...
Editorial

Homeless veterans count

Two years ago, The Royal Canadian Legion sponsored a national forum on homeless veterans which identified gaps in services, programs, prevention and research—and ended with a call for development of a national homeless veterans policy. In March 2015, an Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) report identified 2,250 homeless veterans using data from 60 emergency shelters—a low number, according to some veterans’ advocates, who variously estimate the figure between 7,000 and 20,000. Now, between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2016, the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy, a community-based program funded by ESDC, is conducting the first national count of the country’s homeless. Veterans will be asked to identify themselves in this survey. The United States has reduced the number ...
It takes a world
Editorial

It takes a world

There is no good answer. After terrorist attacks, chaos, fear, mourning, anger and resolve follow. This is the natural sequence of human reactions to inhuman acts. We then offer all manner of contradictory calls for a response—vengeance, tolerance, security, freedom, airstrikes, negotiation, war, peace. But really, what can and should we do? We cannot make ourselves invulnerable to such amoral acts of barbarism, because vulnerability is an inherent part of civilized society. No multitude of security services, eavesdropping agencies or intelligence-sharing efforts can stop every attack. Obviously. And no military effort alone can eradicate this cult of death that has spread like a virus. It will take a multinational and multifaceted mobilization of resources—military, yes, but also poli...
Never Again
Editorial, Our Veterans

Never Again

Every year, year after year, Canadians come together on November 11 to remember the dead and the wars that killed them. And while we honour the bravery and commitment of the fallen with ceremonies, the act is not simply ceremonial. At its core, remembrance requires action. It carries the promise that we will learn from our mistakes, and that the dead didn’t die for nothing. War is again roiling the world, and Canada is involved. The great arc of Islam—from North Africa to South Asia—is in turmoil, if not completely fracturing. Syria is emptying. Hundreds of thousands of innocents are dead, many millions are on the run. This flood of humanity is a warning. Millions of canaries have broken out of the cage and are fleeing the coal mine. The last time Europe faced a refugee crisis of this ...
Votes for vets
Editorial

Votes for vets

Editorial September/October 2015   Since part one of “Cracks in the system” appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of Legion Magazine, several readers have written to demonstrate their support for veterans and concern about how they are treated by our government. “I lost my family to PTSD and chronic pain,” Gord Hockridge (alias Sapperboy) of Chilliwack, B.C., commented on legionmagazine.com. “I suffered 25 years before there was any help. Then when help arrived, it was a battle with VAC bureaucrats. I have been and am being helped by VAC now, but what a humiliating journey. “I wouldn’t suggest how you cast your vote, but history provides a great preview of the future.… All I ask is that when you vote, put Canada ahead of yourself; just like you did when you were in the service.”...

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