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What Of The 364 Days Leading Up To November 11th And What Of The 364 Days After The Last Public Ceremony Is Over?

What Of The 364 Days Leading Up To November 11th And What Of The 364 Days After The Last Public Ceremony Is Over?

What Of The 364 Days Leading Up To November 11th And What Of The 364 Days After The Last Public Ceremony Is Over?

Today let us remember those of our armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice be it in the great wars, or the new war on terror and say a prayer for their families who have had to learn to live without them.  I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our men and women who are serving, or who have served in our armed forces and their families for the sacrifices they have had to endure on the battlefield abroad as they carried out the missions that this government sent them to do and on the battlefield they had to fight and die on once they returned to Canada. Our veterans have had to fight this government to get medical attention for injuries suffered while in the service of their country and fight everyday to get the  help necessary for them to transition from military life back into that of a civilian, because the Harper government sees them  as pawns whose only value is the votes they garner at election time. Remembrance Day, November 11th of every year is when the government gets to  portray itself as caring and respectful and grateful of our veterans sacrifices, in phony, meaningless, very expensive, public ceremonies. Public  displays of  phony gratitude waste money that could be spent  supporting our veterans in their hours of need, or to support their families after they passed on; the things this government claims there is just not enough money to do a better job at. I pray quietly for the day when our children, our young men will not feel that it is better to commit suicide rather than live another day in a Canada that they feel has forgotten them and has allowed them to be treated so poorly. I pray for the day when we never again see a veteran decide to take up arms against Canada in Canada like the  man who wanted to blow up a building housing veterans affairs offices because he  was so angry and disillusioned with his treatment by this government that ignored his pleas for help. The man is not able to be identified because of a court ordered publication ban said this,”I am wound up very tight, and yeah, I’m not doing well because of it.”  “It almost feels like Veterans Affairs is trying to manage my health as opposed to my doctors and specialists…. I’m looking for somebody to help me do what I normally do.”

What is up Canada? I am sorry but once again the government has proved that our veterans mean nothing to them and once again we as Canadians are guilty of doing nothing about it. This becomes obvious when you look at the over 400 page omnibus budget bill that does not mention the word veterans in it  even once in the entire bill.  Considering this government has been criticised by the disabled and sick veterans of the great war and their families as well as the injured,veterans and families of  the war on terror  one would think that the Harper government would have mentioned the veterans at least once in their budget bill, but the Harper government decided instead to continue to ignore the pleas and demands for support and help of those who have served this country so bravely,  choosing instead to rely on pomp and ceremonies to say thank you and spout politically charged rhetoric that does little to feed cloth educate and pay the bills of veterans and their families.  What keeps passing through my head today is that governments have proved experts at making war veterans, but have been found lacking on how to appreciate, look after and assist both the veterans and their families when they are no longer need, or can no longer serve.

I think that this government does not get the idea that if you want to minimize the amount of soldiers returning from a war injured and dead, then you must send them in with the best possible equipment, not refurbished old equipment that the government itself said needed to be put to pasture. Engaging in war cost a lot of money and if this government is going to keep engaging in it, then Stephen Harper cannot keep deciding that new military equipment cost too much with an election coming up in 2015 and that his promise to balance the budget that is looming over his head, must take priority over military procurements. Stephen Harper said that Canada needed to replace the CF-18 Hornets with the F-35 Fighter Jet, calling the CF-18 Hornets outdated and dangerous and yet there go our pilots flying missions over Iraq, fighting ISIS and the never-ending war against terrorism in those  out dated and dangerous CF-18 Hornets.

Since this government is not good at procuring military equipment, or it thinks that it is ok to send our military into battle with refurbished equipment one would think that at the government would have in place the best treatment hospitals and rehabilitation centers for those returning with battle type injuries both physical and mental, retraining facilities for those to badly injured in either circumstance to return to active duty, but sadly this has not proven to be the case with the Harper government.   I say this because we all know that the Harper government has been closing down veteran’s hospitals all over the country, turning veteran’s centers from places where veterans could talk to an agent in person and get help and direction from caring person who understood the sacrifices that they had made, to automated phone centers that were hard to get through to a real person and usually left the vet or family member talking to a cold machine that had no idea of the veterans sacrifice  and so could not care if the veteran was actually being helped or not whether our veterans are suffering from PTSD, a physical loss, or have paid the ultimate sacrifice they and their families can count on one thing and that is that the Harper government will not do a damn thing to help them or their families.

What they will get is a lot of speeches and perhaps a big show of helicopters landing on the parliament lawn, lots of marching bands, jet fighter flybys speeches by Stephen Harper and the Govern General about the valiant service to this country and how this country loves respect and appreciates what they have done for this country, but they will know that none of this will help to fit them back into society, put food on their families plates, a roof over their heads, or help pay the bills every month; they all will know that their sacrifices do not even cover their final move after leaving the service, or all of their burial expenses once they have finally succumbed to their injuries got defending this country. This is how our veterans are being treated by this government and this is how we allow them to be treated , choosing to go to our favorite spots once a year a pretend to give a damn laying flowers at the feet of metal and stone statues and saying prayers for those who no longer need them, can no longer hear them who would say to you if they could, “I needed your gratitude when I was alive, I could have used your help to get the government to help me and my family, God knows I could have used your compassion when I held out the cup begging for change to buy a cup of coffee as you looked at me with disgust as you walked by my sign that said I was a homeless and finally I could have used your prayers instead of your criticism and curses every time the government told you how much it cost to help my family and myself to survive in the new horrible reality of our life after war and service to our country.

Our veterans are the most selfless of Canadians and I think that if they could they would tell you that they forgive us all for not backing them up when they needed us the most and that they forgive the members of the government who made everything they did once back in Canada like fighting another war that they were not prepared for, if we would, or could see our way to making the life for the soldiers that are fighting for of this country right now, this countries veterans of tomorrow and their families better than what we did for them and theirs. I think that our veterans would forego all of the specifying, celebrations, parades and tearful ceremonies that they no longer see and hear, to know that their families are being taken care of now, not struggling to make ends meet and are not fighting the government they served bled and in some cases died for the right to live with dignity and to finally know peace and find comfort that their government has finally understanding that it is no good to honor once a year the dead and fallen heroes of our armed forces, if you do not value, respect, honor and help the living members of the armed forces during and after their service in the military and the families of both living and dead, every day of the year.

I pray for a day when it is no longer necessary to send our young men and women to far off lands to die for something our politicians and that of our foes think is important like oil, religion, or profit. I pray for a day that our government will put the needs of our armed forces personnel and their families before money and the health and welfare of our veterans ahead of balancing their budget. Finally I hope and pray that the veterans families know how much some of us respect, value and appreciate all that they as a family have  had to endure, the great sacrifices they have had to make as a family to keep us all safe  and  that we know that they need our continuing support and help and will never stop pushing until their needs are met. Some of us do know that Veteran’s Day is important as long as we do not forsake and dishonor the living left behind to pick up the pieces. (The families of our veterans) This is what I think that our veterans and their families, both living and dead would ask of us this day.

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