Posts made in January, 2017

Monday Comment and quiz… this a Real Veteran? ? ? ?

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

Today I would like to ask you a few Questions  about this photo :

(1) Where has this man SERVED in Uniform?

(2)   Was he a specialist?

(3)   How many years service has he Served ?

(4) Is he a real VETERAN?

The answers to these questions are  (1) Nowhere   (2) No Dolphins, no Aircrew badge not even a paratrooper. (If he was a real Veteran he could not wear a specialist badge, why Not? too many associates with tin medallions.

(3) None, and lastly  (4)   definitely NOT.

Sean Bruyea and Robert Smol have  written an in depth article with regard to the Royal Canadian Legion. ( I have no doubt that there are a few, very few good Legions left) However the majority and in particular Dominion Command has few if any real Veterans of the Canadian Forces. Many Legion members wear pieces of tin medallions as in this photo. No other Commonwealth Legions allow other medallions. Simply lapel pins of years served on committees etc. To allow these social members, to rule the Legions is ludicrous. We must return to the base Legion which looks after real Veterans and their issues. Please read this fine article.







Social Media ManagerDecember 15, 2016

By Sean Bruyea and Robert Smol

For the last 90 years Canadians have looked upon the Royal Canadian Legion as the living embodiment of Remembrance Day, keeping the memory of our veterans’ sacrifices alive. Likewise, successive governments have recognized the Legion as the primary institutional stakeholder when it comes to setting policy for veterans.

Today, however, this alleged veteran organization has devolved into an institutional lie. In spite of the deference it continues to receive, the Legion is now little more than a social club consisting primarily of civilian wannabe and “wish-I-had-been” soldiers imitating the façade of military life and sacrifice.

So it should not come as a surprise that, in recent battles with Ottawa over veteran benefits, the Legion either found itself lost in the fog or, worse, siding with government. Meanwhile, various municipal governments grant tax-free status to several Legion branches.

The Canadian public, which almost universally welcomes Legion uniforms at public events, needs to know the truth about what the Legion has become. More importantly, modern veterans like us owe it to the Legion’s battle-scarred founders to refocus the Legion back to its founding principles as an organization of veterans standing up for other veterans against government neglect and intransigence.

It never fails to shock uninformed members of the public just how unmilitary and veteran-less the Legion has become. At one time, approximately 50 per cent of Canada’s more than 1 million Second World War veterans belonged to the Legion. Currently, there are nearly 700,000 serving and retired Canadian Armed Forces personnel. As of October 1, 2015, the Legion had 265,000 members. Of those, more than 200,000 never served in the military! This is contrary to the Legion’s specious claim on its website that its membership “includes approximately 100,000 Veterans.”

The truth is, online documents show military veterans are lumped into a category of 64,000 “Ordinary” members. However, this category also includes militaries of allied forces and all NATO nations as well as war correspondents, YMCA, Knights of Columbus, firefighters and forestry services who served in wartime. Coast guard, provincial and city police services also qualify. Of the estimated maximum 35,000 to 50,000 military veterans in the Legion, more than half are likely WWII veterans. That leaves approximately 17,500 to 25,000 who might be post-Korean War veterans or less than four per cent of all CAF veterans and only 10 per cent of Legion membership. The bottom-line: the Legion apparently doesn’t care enough about veterans to know how many veterans are Legion members.

Look around. Any adult walking the street qualifies to be a uniformed, marching, medal-bearing, saluting, colour-carrying member of the Royal Canadian Legion. Legion membership is open to any “citizen of Canada, or a Commonwealth or Allied country” who is of “voting age” and “agrees to abide by the Royal Canadian Legion Constitution, rules and General By-Laws.”

The result: failing to understand the military culture and sacrifices is endemic in an organization which, with increasing illegitimacy, has a legal monopoly on all images of poppies related to remembrance and sacrifice. For all its grandiose rhetoric about being “Guardians of Remembrance,” the Legion’s overwhelming civilian membership does much to imitate, trivialize and therefore dishonour sacred symbols of military service.

Unlike any other Commonwealth nation, Canada’s Legion awards medals for administering the affairs of the Legion, including recreational activities for the elderly. Legion medals include a Meritorious Service Medal and a Palm Leaf. To an uninformed public, these Legion-exclusive “medals” can be easily mistaken for bona fide military service medals. And one can purchase only from the “Guardians of Remembrance” poppy earrings, umbrellas, tea towels, toques, mitts, and poppy puppies, giving the appearance more of a commercial monopoly than a sacred responsibility.

To add denial to dishonour, the Legion, in its last National Convention, voted not to allow its minority military veteran members to wear their specialist badges such as paratrooper wings and submariner badges. These distinctions are rightfully worn with pride to identify hard-earned specialized skills that often carried them through combat. Yet the same Legion delegates voted that all its members could wear a forget-me-not flower pin to commemorate the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel, although the tragically few Newfoundlanders who actually fought and survived that horrible First World War engagement have long since passed.

Why did the Legion turn out this way? The Legion has admitted a prevalent “grumpiness” to potential new members. However, institutionalized age discrimination and the self-destructive veteran disease of one-upmanship are at the root of the problem. WWII and Korean War veterans during the 1950s through to the early 2000s saw CAF service as inferior. For much of this time, younger veterans could encounter a culture wherein the only true ‘veteran’ worthy of Legion support and recognition were those who served during ‘real’ wars, recognition restricted to two World Wars and, begrudgingly later, Korea. Conveniently ignored was the fact that many World War veterans never actually experienced combat.

As a result, younger ex-service men and women who may have endured full-blown combat operations in places such as Cyprus, the former Yugoslavia, Kuwait, and Afghanistan were not seen as bona fide veterans. No doubt history will record the 50 years following the Korean War as a lost opportunity for the Legion to help CAF veterans — the leading edge of whom are now well into their 80s.

Instead, the Legion opted to offset its declining and dying veteran membership with a new “community-based” focus. From a policy perspective, this meant shifting efforts to charitable work in support of local communities. Administratively, this meant opening its membership and, ultimately, its executive positions, including its Provincial and National Commands, to civilians.

This ageism and rampant superiority complex combined with the rapid devolution of the Legion into a civilian-led and -managed organization left little to no incentive for younger veterans, such as ourselves, to join. And frankly, whenever either of us are invited to a Legion function and can overlook the “grumpiness,” we see little shared experience and knowledge of the military that would make us feel like we belong.

Selling out Modern Veterans: Legion support for the New Veterans Charter

By far the single most tragic and costly end result of this military devolution of the Legion can be seen in its open support for controversial veterans’ benefits that were rammed through parliament in 2005 without a minute of debate or a committee of elected officials to study it. This legislation, commonly known as the New Veterans Charter, replaced lifelong tax-free monthly pensions for military injuries with highly inadequate one-time lump sum payments. It has been a lightning rod for veteran disaffection ever since.

Veterans still scratch their heads wondering why Legion National President Mary-Ann Burdett signed a blank cheque to government while proudly proclaiming to a Senate committee: “There should be no doubt whatsoever that the Royal Canadian Legion fully supports this initiative … we want this legislation.” Yet, astute concerns articulated by the Legion’s largest provincial command in Ontario just one year later were ignored in the national headquarters’ public declarations.

Why did all this happen? Only an organization acting as a true advocacy group for veterans would have the political chutzpah to sacrifice its popularity among politicians for doing what is right by its principles. In 2005, the Legion was no longer this form of organization.

In the meantime, organizations with a fraction of the membership (such as the rapidly growing Veterans Canada) are perceived as carrying equal or more clout in defending the rights of injured veterans to an often-insensitive federal bureaucracy.


What Needs to be Done?

If there is a glimmer of hope it would be that there is a groundswell of civilians and veterans in the organization demanding that the Legion make itself more responsive and accountable to the veteran community. In 2016 some brave and thoughtful members of Legion Branch 15 in Brampton, Ontario conducted an online survey where 96.6 per cent of the 1,606 respondents identified as veterans or serving members of the CAF. Of these, 75.8 per cent were not Legion members. An overwhelming majority of this group claimed the reasons why they will not join is that the Legion “is out of touch with the needs of today’s veterans” and “the Legion has too many non-vets in executive positions.”

Among the recommendations put forth by the respondents is elimination of the term “New Veteran” as it promotes segregation, elimination of Legion “medals” and the seemingly obvious, but sadly necessary, demand that the Legion not support “any legislative action that is harmful to veterans.” Not surprisingly, some in the national headquarters appear to have largely dismissed the survey, claiming it is unscientific.

To reverse this membership stampede out the door, the Legion has to regain trust with not just its own members but the wider veteran community. Openness and transparency is a beginning. Headquarters salaries are paid for by membership dues. For Legion branches struggling to make ends meet just to stop the roof from leaking and keep the lights on, subsidizing such exorbitant salaries with membership fees must be disheartening. There is no privacy law that prevents disclosing the salary ranges or the actual salaries of each position in the national headquarters. Likewise, such salaries need to be dramatically curtailed. It just doesn’t look good when the Legion depends upon the sweat of volunteers that are represented by a highly overcompensated national leadership.

In addition to opening its books, the Legion has to stand up to government far more aggressively when it comes to veterans’ benefits. It needs to aggressively focus on and incorporate its founding principles — namely, to “secure adequate pensions, allowances, grants and war gratuities for ex-servicemen, their dependents, and the widows, children and dependents of those who have served, and to labour for honourable provision being made for those who, in declining years, are unable to support themselves.”

No doubt this can only be realized if the Legion takes the government to task at every level and opportunity for its failed policies and neglect of veterans. Certainly a Royal Canadian Legion doing its job will no longer be so popular with politicians who will surely seek refuge from Legion members rather than frequent photo ops. Perhaps a veteran-focused Legion might even lose its tax-free status. But at least the Legion can then stand proud and say that it remained true to the memory of its battle-scarred founders.

This article was also shared by that great Naval Blogger…the Irish Rover Thanks Ben. Hopefully more coverage will lead to some re thinking.

Meanwhile have a thought and a prayer for our Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen around the world. Also their families who live without their loved ones for great lengths of time.

Nil Sine Labore


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The Hidden 200 ?

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

Seven Canadian soldiers treated at military hospital in Iraq since November.

This is a strange article, I do believe in Mission Security and I do understand if a soldier was simply on Sick Parade. If wounded by enemy fire or heaven forbid Friendly Fire, this should be in the public domain. It states in the article that as well as the hospital staffing we have 200 soldiers in Iraq. These men and women are doing a dangerous job against isis/daesh and others. The fact that the DND now says that  wounds are not released? Why ? If these men are injured in a combat situation  or a training situation. I feel that Canadians shold be made aware of their injuries. After the fact is fine due to mission vulnerability but to deny outright, this is indeed a mistake.

Operation IMPACT is a much larger operation than 200 soldiers. in fact the air group has conducted

Aircraft sorties

As of January 7, 2017, Air Task Force-Iraq has conducted 2,704 sorties*:

  • CC-150T Polaris aerial refueller conducted 643 sorties, delivering some 37,600,000 pounds of fuel to Coalition aircraft; and
  • CP-140 Aurora aircraft conducted 683 reconnaissance missions.
  • Definition – sortie: in air operations, a sortie refers to an operational flight by one aircraft. A sortie starts when one aircraft takes off and ends upon landing.
  • Including the air ops Canada is certainly well into the removal of isis/daesh

I pray that every Canuck serving in Operation Impact returns to their loved ones.

Just a reminder to any Veterans planning a visit to Vimy in 2017, the DVA says you must register:

Take care Please wear Red to show your support for our military  and their families.

Nil SIne Labore



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First Red Friday of 2017

Posted by on Jan 6, 2017 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

This says it all ! ! !

Greetings Canada and elsewhere. Today is the first RED FRIDAY of 2017. I ask your assistance and indulgence with me. If anyone would like to reply, the question being is there much visual appreciation of Red Friday in your town village city or base. I am curios as when I was in Victoria last August I saw very few people wearing Red nor indeed the one Friday I was in Borden did I see anyone wearing Red.

I ask this because of the next article of Remembrance. 73 Years ago during WW2 a bomber of the RCAF flight training Squadron crashed in Yorkshire with loss of 6 young Canucks. To this day the people of Yorkshire salute these brave airmen on the first Sunday of the year. I feel that many units across Canada should send someone to pay their respects as well. Perhaps RCAF Associations, Veterans Affairs spring to mind. Heaven forbid if the current associate membership of the Royal Canadian Legion paid their respects. Please let me know about this as well as Red Friday if you see fit.

Now an article that should read Damned if you do and Damned if you don’t. Turkey has had many horrors so far this first week of 2017.I do understand their concerns over battling isis/daesh and the Kurds.

But some Canadians are fighting alongside the Kurds against isis/daesh. These brave men who are assisting the Kurds sadly may be killed by the Turks.

The saddest article by far over the past few days was the Murder suicide of a Veteran suffering from PTSD> So many sad stories of our men and women being ignored by the current Government.

This next story is certainly a candidate for the “CATCH 22” award.

Now as we progress into week 2 of 2017 we can only hope and pray that it will be a much better year for our Veterans, our soldiers , sailors, and airmen.

Addendum: One BC couple who have  survived and overcome the trauma of PTSD now aims to assist other Veterans.

PTSD. They’re offering a five-day intensive course for couples — COPE, Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday. It’s aimed at helping them learn how to cope and how to support each other. Bravo Zulu to the Linfords of Sooke BC.

Nil Sine Labore


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Terrorism and disgraceful actions of Governments……

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

Now that the atrocities of Istanbul moves into an in depth investigation, searching for the shooter. A couple of arrests have occurred.

In the past hour Turkish State police announced that some people have been detained including the suspects wife.

The sadness of  this atrocity has been felt around the world. Yet when Police in Germany stopped, searched and denied entry to many immigrants on New Years eve. They are accused of Racial Profiling. This is ridiculous. The Police must be allowed to carry out their security commitments to keep the larger amount of the citizenry free and most of all  S A F E .

In reading and watching the news this morning. I also received an e mail from a fellow RCASC Veteran. He sent me a story  allegedly  written by a Greek Immigrant to Canada. I checked it out and it is a phoney article  as far back as 2010 it was supposedly written by a Greek immigrant to Australia. Far too many of these so called news stories are circulating. I do believe parts of the story and can in fact confirm that Thousand of Immigrants after WW2 made their way to Canada. Europeans, Asians and even my Folks and my brother and I moved from a very poor part of Scotland. My father God Bless him had little if any formal education nor my Mother. They both worked hard paid their taves and voted. They raised 5 of us, not rich in a Dollar sense But Rich in Family Values.

I am certainly not against Immigration BUT I do believe that people MUST be checked by our RCMP and CSIS  if they are asking to immigrate from countries that thrive on war and Terrorism. Does this opinion make me a RACIST. I think not. I feel it makes me a concerned , Grandparent, Parent and citizen of the FREE WORLD.

It is a very difficult time for our police at this time in History. Political Correctness, I feel is to blame. As with our soldiers being charged years after  for killing an enemy combatant whether he or she be IRA or isis. This is a disgrace fro any country to historically charge our soldiers. Canada suffered  when the PM of the day.

It has been almost a 1/4 Century since the Somali incident.

Although the basic duty of any Infanteer is to Kill The Enemy ,Political Correctness has destroyed that a quote from the Government of the Day.

“Contributing to the US-led coalition and taking part in the UN force to Somalia seemed to align with Canadian foreign policy and fit Mulroney’s vision for peacekeeping, as he was the “principal driver behind Canada’s decision to commit itself to the Somalia mission”.[3]

Canada was one of the nations that agreed to send forces. The Minister of External Affairs Barbara McDougall noted that the mandate would be to “shoot first, ask questions later” to try to bring peace to the country.[4] Canadian forces, under the name Operation Deliverance, were sent to Somalia to participate in the American-led Operation Restore Hope.[5] On 4 May 1993, the operation was to come under UN command and was renamed UNOSOM II.

It was decided that the Canadian Airborne Regiment (CAR) would be the contingent sent overseas. The Airborne had long been seen as the elite of the Canadian Forces, and in 1974 had performed admirably in combat operations in Cyprus as well as later peacekeeping tours there. However, General Beno informed General Lewis MacKenzie that training in the CAR was a “critical” problem due to Paul Morneault‘s leadership.[6] It was debated whether to substitute another regiment, or cancel the mission entirely, but it was finally decided that to admit that the “elite” Canadian forces were incapable of handling a routine mission would have been a “national disgrace”.[6]

This from a former PARA soldier of the UK.

1 hr · Alloa ·
For info just in case. I know a lot of us (me included) were christened under fire in this location……………taken from a friend and colleague from another veterans site:
Just spoken to the secretary of an MP who is fighting in the corner for the soldiers being persecuted over N.I. incidents. For parliamentary reasons he is not allowed to speak to me or represent me in any way as I am outside of his constituency and I fully understand this.
What I am about to say can be put out there: Lets take the scenarios of three soldiers opening up on a know terrorist, armed or unarmed!!!!. Statements were taken on the day, or days following from all present.
How do we know which soldier fired the fateful shot?? we don’t, the fact being is that no ballistic confirmatory shot was taken from any of those rifles after the incident, they just have the word of the people who made the statements some 40 years ago.
Credit was possibly taken out of bravado, being the hardest man in the section or being the section commander etc, still does not prove his round killed that person.
Not forgetting that solicitors are there to serve the client and if the client is not happy with the way things are going then he or she is quite within their right to seek a new legal team.
The saliant points that the ex soldier needs to put to his or her legal team before anything goes any further is;
a. Can I have the ballistic report which would include the weapon that fired the fateful round.
b. Can I please have the signing out book identifying the person who signed the weapon out that killed the terrorist.
c. Can I have the scene photographs taken by the SOCO at the time.
d. Can I see the plan drawing done by the SOCO at the time.
Do you know that after great expense, a seven and a half year journey around the world, the MOD Police only managed to locate under 10 rifles that were used by the PARA battalion that were involved in the shootings on the Sunday in Londonderry.
Yes, they may still have the round or fragmented round that killed the terrorist but unless they have the weapon then no ballistic comparison can be made to link the man to the weapon or the weapon to the dead terrorist.
This would be the very basics of any enquiries or cases being put before the CPS, so why is this not happening?????
If I made a statement 40 years ago I would doubt I would remember what was in it and would s certainly question if I had ever made it, I would also request and question who did take the statement from me at the time.
I would be grateful if you could all put this out there to other regimental associations or people that are being hounded or may think they will be hounded, as before, my time is free!!!

Soldiers and Police should be allowed to carry out their duties without hindrance. An old saying WAR is Hell springs to mind.

On that note please have a prayer for our troops serving world wide and our police serving at home. BOTH are trying to protect us from Terrorism.

Nil SIne Labore




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First Day of the New Year… or is it the first day of the rest of my life.

Posted by on Jan 1, 2017 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

So sad that within an hour of the New Year 2017. A madman terrorised innocents enjoying a new years party in Istanbul. Celebrating the birth of a New Year. Reports say that the shooter arrived at the club at approx. 1 am local time. Dressed in a Santa suit he shot and killed a police man at the door. Entered and before he left a few minutes later 39 confirmed dead and 60 (approx.) wounded.

This mad man has so far eluded capture and no lowlife gang has of yet claimed responsibility for this massacre. May the victims Rest in Peace,

I enjoyed a lot of visits to both Ankara and Istanbul, the Turkish people are a friendly people and I always felt welcome in their midst.

What a way to start the Newest of Years.

I turned on the radio and it was on an oldies staion…..the first song I heard brought a flood of memories rushing through my memory bank….THE WANDERERER>

It would be lovely to live in much simpler times. I have been a wanderer all of my adult life, never really settling anywhere in particular. This one thing my Children and Grandchiildren can confirm.

I read this article this morning on a brother apprentice’s F/B page Wayne Flaherty and thought it rather apropos for this first day of the year 2017.


This will boggle your mind!

The year is 1916 “One hundred years ago.”

What a difference a century makes!

Here are some statistics for the Year 1916:

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.

Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.

The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year.

A dentist $2,500 per year.

A veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.

And, a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at home

Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the

press AND the government as “substandard.”

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month,

And, used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

The Five leading causes of death were:

  1. Pneumonia and influenza
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Heart disease
  5. Stroke


The American flag had 45 stars …

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30. Population of Toronto since 1901 census.

1901 was 208,040

1941 was 667,500

1951 was 675,754

2001 was 2,841,494 (amalgamated City of Toronto)

2006 was 2,503,281

2011 was 2,615,060


Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.

There was neither a Mother’s Day nor a Father’s Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write

And, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school. Strange how today the statistics are recorded by Race, Colour and Creed I n the USA

Between 1995 and 2015, the percentage of 25- to 29-year-olds who had completed at least a high school diploma or its equivalent increased for those who were White (from 92 to 95 percent), Black (from 87 to 93 percent), and Hispanic (from 57 to 77 percent). For those who were Hispanic, most of the change over this period (i.e., 14 percentage points out of the total 20 percentage point change) occurred between 2005 and 2015. The percentage of Asian/Pacific Islander 25- to 29-year-olds who had completed at least a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2015 (95 percent) was not measurably different from the percentage who had attained this education level in 1995. In 2015, some 87 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives and 95 percent of persons of Two or more races had completed at least a high school diploma or its equivalent; neither percentage was measurably different from its 2005 counterpart

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstores.

Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,

regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!” (Shocking?)

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help…

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !

In 2015 the FBI notes: The estimated number of murders in the nation was 15,696.

It is impossible to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

Once again I say THANKYOU to all the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who are currenty serving to protect us in Canada and the western world.

Nil Sine Labore


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