"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Thursday 27 November 2014

Guest Post

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A False Premise":

He is entitled to call himself Veterans Affairs Minister because that is what he is. Why do you have take away someone's title because you do not like them?

Years ago, my father worked for a DVA Hospital in London, Ontario. Westminster Hospital was a huge complex in south London. It contained a number of buildings - a large "main" hospital building, a large building for vet's that were diagnosed with "shell shock" or similar mental issues (called the PI "phyc institute" and a large complex of smaller buildings that vets went to in order to live out their final days (Western Counties Wing). They also had a golf course, bowling alleys, swimming pools, etc. This was southern Ontario's vet hospital, similar to Sunnybrook in Toronto.

I remember going to work with him on weekends and I could not get around how much money had been spent on the care of these guys. This was like a small Town. In the PI, there were fenced in balconies at the ends of the building - too many of these patients tried to jump. At the time, the vets of WW I were approaching their 80s. They were becoming the minority. Vets of WWII were the majority. I would talk to some of them, some were okay to tell a stranger about their exploits overseas - they would spin stories. Others did not want to talk about at all.

Eventually, the population of Westminster vets declined to the point that DVA divested in the facilities. It was sold to the province and today in the site of London's renewed Victoria Hospital. The old Victoria, which was open for 20 years or so after the Westminster acquisition, was closed down. Some of the old DVA buildings still exist. But the vets are gone for the most part - a small group are left.

I am proud that this country spent an enormous amount of money to care for these vets. DVA needs to open the history books on how they were cared for then.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 27 November 2014 09:13

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the writer of this guest post, with one exception that I will elaborate on a few lines hence.

Canada has had many veterans from several wars. They have been cared for by the government in varying degrees of appropriateness.

The present government is treating our vets in the most shabby manner, And this from a Prime Minister who seems to embrace military action, notwithstanding that the weapons our troops are given to conduct warfare are old and falling apart.

He happily spent millions of dollars to celebrate the bicentenary of the War of 1812, an event that most Canadians knew little about, and even had they known more, the
meaning of it was lost in virtual antiquity.

There are at present thousands of vets who continue to bear the physical and emotional scars of recent warfare and their needs are being ignored. Some of them will suffer from their military experience for the rest of their lives.

I view a title as something that has been bestowed on someone, in Conrad Black's case the title Lord Black of Coal Harbour.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs, or any other Minister for that matter, does not have a title, but rather a job description that carries with it certain responsibilities and obligations.

We should be a little more accurate with our use of language.