Two amazing people that have turned their bad luck into hope for others.
And two departments –Veteran’s Affairs and Defence- breaking through the bureaucratic turf tussles, to transition our troops back home. Common sense at last!
The work of the Support Centres, and the leadership of soldiers such as Col.Gerard Blais, the Director of Casualty Support Management, means extraordinary things are happening.
So whether a soldier decides to return to military life after illness or injury or to explore a new civilian career, there is now a relatively seamless process helping with everything from artificial limbs to re-training; from tax advice to childcare.
And there are a growing number of other support systems available too.
Chief of Defence Staff General Walt Natynczyk launched a campaign regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other psychological fallouts from war-fighting. And former CDS, Gen Rick Hillier established The Military Families Fund and there’s the new Project Hero Scholarship that provides financial aid for children of Canadian Forces who are killed while serving.
There are still some issues that need a second look, such as lump sum payouts to young vets who may not have the financial skills to make it last. Or how we deal with the psychological traumas that emerge years after the soldier has left the force. And those reviews have already begun.
But for today, it’s up to all of us to find a tangible way to make a difference for those who gave their lives or limbs to protect ours.
Senator Pamela Wallin is Deputy Chair of the Senate Defense and National Security Committee and also serves on the Veterans Affairs committee.