Vets’ suicides result from lack of support

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: I am having trouble putting words to my reaction to the recent treatment of our veterans. I have heard outrage and disappointment being used, but for me neither is strong enough.

For the Minister of Veterans Affairs to be late for a meeting with concerned veterans, and be so ignorant to them, is embarrassing. This is the man who is supposed to be looking out for the welfare of the veterans.

That is the entire purpose of his employment. As if limiting access to Veterans Affairs by closing so many offices wasn’t bad enough, he then treated the veterans he was to meet like they didn’t even matter.

We are entering an age of technology where a lot of people are being replaced with websites. I am a 32-year-old computer-savvy veteran who can learn how to use the new computer site, however, this is not an acceptable replacement for our older veterans. Who is there to help them?

There is no longer an office in Charlottetown, which means that my province does not have a Veterans Affairs office at all. My case manager is one of two that cover the entire Island, and they both live and work out of New Brunswick. How are two people, who don’t even live here, supposed to give the support necessary to all of our veterans, many of whom require house calls?

The recent suicides of our soldiers and veterans are a clear indication  there wasn’t enough support before closing eight VAC offices. The closure of these offices comes at a time when the number of veterans is not decreasing; the age of our veterans is decreasing. As our WWII and Korean Vets are leaving us, they are being replaced by men and women who have served in Bosnia, Africa and Afghanistan.

To our Minister of Veterans Affairs, shame on you. To the rest of Canadians, don’t stand back and allow our government to remove more support that our veterans so desperately need.

Cathi Thomson,

Charlottetown

Organizations: Veterans Affairs

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Iceland, New Brunswick VAC Bosnia Africa

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