Don’t feed the war machine

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As Remembrance season passes, I find myself thinking about the service of my family, friends, and myself in the Canadian Forces.

Of the five adults around our Christmas table, we have four veterans with a combined 90 plus years of service including multiple peacekeeping and warfighting deployments and all the buttons and baubles that entails.

We are an army family; it was the family business to serve in the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps. We all joined as teenagers eager to defend Canada and what we thought to be democracy, no matter the cost: life, limb, or glory. I grew up in an armoury with a WWI placard on the wall that read:

“What if the best
of our wages be
An empty sleeve,
a stiff-set knee,
A crutch for the rest
of life – who cares,
So long as the One Flag floats and dares?”

I was ready to die for Canada. We all were.

Military service is no longer our family business. We all unequivocally tell our kids not to join the army to fight foreign wars. All my vet friends are in agreement. It’s become abundantly clear that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) doesn’t care about our sacrifices or repay our loyalty in kind.

While the dedicated folks at Veterans’ Affairs do their utmost to care for vets, the government does it’s best to stymie their efforts. The Harper government shamelessly claimed that Canada has “no sacred duty of care” to our vets who are struggling with physical, emotional, or moral injuries resulting from our service. The Trudeau government maintained this position, spending $40 million in legal fees to fight veterans’ benefit, pension, and harassment claims in court. The amount includes defense of Harper’s clawback of the compensation program for wounded veterans, the class action Equitas case. The inevitable incoming Conservative government will be no different.

This was abundantly clear when Prime Minister Trudeau told a CAF veteran at a townhall meeting that veterans “are asking more than we can give”. Strangely, the same government came up with nearly $8 billion dollars of taxpayer money to send to Ukraine to pursue NATO’s proxy war, amidst spiralling inflation, and healthcare and housing crises.

Due to the Liberal government’s Covid vaccine mandate, hundreds of ranking, experienced Canadian soldiers quit or retired. The seasoned war fighters of the past are gone. The CAF is left with politically correct commissars more interested in “wokeness” than in training our young soldiers in the ways of war. We simply do not have the training cadre, nor the equipment, to mount an effective fighting force. The CAF couldn’t even pacify an insurgency in Thunder Bay (should one arise), let alone a foreign war.

With corporate interests looking to profit on wars in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, it’s time for Canadians to say NO to providing another “whole generation who were butchered and damned” to the war machine.

Dissuade your children from enlisting, I implore you. We won’t be fooled again.