Dear Editor: Not too long ago, we commemorated yet another Nov. 11.
Many people here in Corner Brook and all over Canada wore the poppy, stood at cenotaphs, laid wreaths, shed a tear when the lament “Taps” was played with varying degrees of skill, and hopefully, thanked a veteran for his or her service to our country and for us.
We then sang our national anthem, again with varying degrees of talent. When we sang the lyric, “we stand on guard for thee,” I couldn’t help but wonder who is standing on guard for our modern day veterans and peacekeepers?
These are people who served in Afghanistan and in other areas of modern conflict.
Some of these men and women, soldiers and RCMP for example, were severely traumatized both physically and emotionally in service to our country.
Yet the federal government under Stephen Harper has somehow decided that their sacrifice has a “best before” date.
If a soldier suffers from post-trumatic stress disorder, for example, Harper’s Department of Veterans Affairs will pay for therapy for only two years.
At the end of that time, these heroes are given a lump sum payment and told there will be no more nourishment from the federal teat.
Does anyone else see the hypocrisy here? The federal cash cow appears to have all kinds of money for certain senators and other government officials.
Wouldn’t we all like to have the same access to that cow as is enjoyed by such illustrious characters as Duffy, Brazeau and Wallin?
Apparently, there was enough “sustenance” at the teat for these people.
It has been the Harper government’s policy to hack and slash programs that helped our armed forces and the RCMP.
Veterans Affairs offices are being closed in the name of efficiency or centralization. The office in Corner Brook is one.
Now veterans will have to deal with some disembodied voice on a phone located in St. John’s. How often will they actually get to talk to a counsellor in person?
Veterans who were wounded either physically or emotionally in one of the two world wars or in Korea were entitled to lifelong financial assistance.
Why are we now not offering the same to our modern veterans? Are their wounds somehow perceived as being less than those from previous conflicts? Aren’t these heroes worth a great deal more than any greedy politician?
We, the citizens of Canada, must stand on guard for our military and national police forces. I’m of the opinion that we cannot do enough for those who have sacrificed and are still sacrificing for us.
Do not drop the torch that has been passed to us by these modern day heroes.
Contact your MP today and express your concerns for all our veterans and peacekeepers.
Mr. Harper. Do the right thing.
Rick Solo, Corner Brook