Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Up yours, Harper

The next time some mouth-breathing Harper sycophant tries to hide behind the troops or waves some ridiculous fridge-magnet in your face ask them a few questions.

Ask them if they've ever driven down a road possessed of the fear that the road might explode underneath their vehicle - without warning.

Ask them if they've ever had their tools shatter in sub-zero temperatures as they worked to get an aircraft off the ground in five minutes.

Ask them if they've had to try to refuel a ship in storm force winds while remaining underway.

Ask them if they've had to jump out of the way of a blacked-out armoured vehicle in the pitch darkness.

Ask them if they have the slightest clue what a "deployment" means to someone serving this country.

Then ask them to define "veteran".

When they fuck it up, tell them to go read Sean Bruyea's piece.
... we need to start off understanding the term “veteran.” Contrary to popular belief, in Canada, a “veteran” is any Canadian who wore a military uniform. As such, there are almost 600,000 veterans living among us who never served in the Second World War. [...]

There is a greater issue here and that is Canada’s willingness to make fiscal sacrifices to care for those injured soldiers or veterans who have already sacrificed so much in Canada’s name. Why is it that the total veteran population in Canada is twice that of Australia, yet Australia provides benefits for twice as many veterans and dependents as Canada? At $12-billion, Australia’s budget for veterans is almost four times as great as Canada’s.


Veterans have run out of answers as to why their sacrifices are treated with such neglect or even cavalier disregard.

Perhaps it all comes down to controlling the message by playing with words. By not defining the word “veteran” in the media, ministers and bureaucrats can erase not just the existence of Canada’s collective memory of what was accomplished and sacrificed by our 600,000 CF veterans, but the government can save money by not funding programs or keeping employees to care for and assist so many veterans who have been forgotten for far too long.

Which is why veterans, when they finally have a champion, get more than a little irritated when their voice is muffled.

Pat Stogran joins the long list of those who spoke truthfully to the Harper government and paid the price for doing so.

Pat Stogran, however, isn't going quietly. Nor should he.

Veteran ombudsman Pat Stogran plans to leave his job with all guns blazing, turning the spotlight on the federal bureaucrats who he says are failing the country's veterans and highlighting the uphill battle injured soldiers and others face in trying to get the benefits they deserve.

UPDATE: The good colonel opens fire. (h/t Boris)

No comments: