OUR VET­ER­ANS. OURS. ACT

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - OPINION -

I’ve con­ducted the burial ser­vice for many vet­er­ans (Our Vet­er­ans De­serve Bet­ter – ed­i­to­rial, Sept. 13). Some of the worst ex­pe­ri­ences of my life as a cler­gy­man are wrapped up in Canada’s war vet­er­ans. No­body gives a damn is my last­ing mem­ory. There is noth­ing more shame­ful than a na­tion which has aban­doned its own troops in their hour of death. It ac­tu­ally gets worse. Beau­ti­ful men and women who are now of­fered $2,000, and this is con­sid­ered a good re­sult?

Fromthe­graveside­of­ba­bies, to chil­dren, to adults and se­niors, I’ve lost count. From PTSD, to mur­der, to sui­cide. Forty years of ser­vice has left me bro­ken. Hard­est of all was the stand­ing at an empty grave. One vet in a cas­ket, one old widow won­der­ing how to pay the padre and a stranger.

I my­self live with PTSD. I have heard over and over from politi­cians, “We can and must do bet­ter for our ail­ing vet­er­ans.” His­tory won’t treat th­ese lead­ers well. It’s far too late to keep promis­ing. Act.

Rev. Peter Gro­gan

Sar­nia, Ont.

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