A dear friend of mine has just returned from the D-Day 70th anniversary at Juno Beach in France. It was a terrific and moving event by all accounts, but my pal had another story I am afraid, pertaining to our dreadful Ministry of Veterans Affairs. What few vets there are left who fought at that great battle are few and growing fewer by the year, and of these only a small group could make the tiring trip earlier this month. They were to be wards of Canada’s infamous Veterans Affairs while in France. Each worthy vet would have a personal “minder” because of their obviously advanced age, to help them aboard their flights, and generally look after them while in Europe.
Shortly before they were to leave en mass, it came to light that no rooms had been booked for these old warriors and their minders were only beside them until they landed then Adios buster, and thanks from your country. Since every room in the entire area had been booked for virtually years due to the auspicious anniversary, where were these elderly gentlemen to stay? Several worthy Canadians and small “Vet” charities went into high gear without ANY help from our dear government, not a thing. Hard work from the above and the generosity of the French people meant that after enormous problems were quickly solved, everyone was put into private homes without cost. These volunteer families rose up with love in their hearts for men who carried every disability imaginable and did what our fat cat Ministry of Veterans Affairs would not. The vets were looked after by the kindness of strangers because they were guests and for freeing them from the jackboot of war.
Those sleek and pink cheeked politicians and assistants drove in their limos back and forth to Paris every night and wined and dined as is their self perceived right, while the old men who at 18-19 had fought on that long ago awful day, were fed and put to bed by their generous local hosts.
It is a bloody disgrace what happened at Juno Beach, June 6th, 2014. The Minister of Veteran’s Affairs should have his fork and glass of wine taken away and be made to resign immediately as well as all the rest of his clique, then the Harper government must apologize in writing to every vet, while hanging their heads in shame. I am also ashamed. To those glorious fellows who made the trip and to all Canadian vets, please know we love and honour you and always will.
We are very sorry. Thank you again.
Copyright Major’s Corner 2014