I have been working on the fall campaign for the Canadian Veterans Advocacy and will be launching operation Ardent Dignity tomorrow on the second anniversary of Col. Patrick Stogran's press conference in 2010. We have entered the next phase of our existence and as an advocacy and veterans, recognize our duty to the hundreds of wounded warriors that will be soon released into our communities compliments of a broken promise by this government to find employment with in the Canadian Forces suitable to the disabilities they have now and for life. I am asking for your help as we move forward, particularly with the Rallies for Veterans scheduled to be held across this nation on November 3. Our duty to the fallen is not restricted to ensuring they are treated fairly by Veterans Affairs Canada or the government, these men and women, with their families, will soon be returning to our communities. I am encouraging you to pass on the following operations order to your mayor, your member of provincial Parliament and your member of Parliament and asked them to take steps to ensure that this nations wounded warriors will not be forgotten after 2014 when the engagement in Afghanistan comes to an end.
Everybody can do their duty, every voice will count, every action you make to ensure your community is prepared and capable of providing support to the wounded is important.
Canadian Veterans Advocacy Operations plan Aug-Dec 2012
Operation Ardent Dignity - Nov 3-November 10 - 2012
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy was founded in the aftermath of the 1st Canadian Veterans National day of Protest, November 6, 2010. The national protest was a precedent setting event organized by Michael L Blais CD, founder and president of the CVA and was designed to raise public support for legislative reform to the New Veterans Charter. This effort was been repeated in 2011. Deliverance of our message and raising support amongst the Canadian public for legislative reform to the New Veterans Charter remains a top CVA objective however, during the past twenty months there has been intensive interaction with dozens, if not hundreds of veterans and/or their family members suggest a strategy transcending mere protest and that our obligation to those to whom we have passed the torch requires an expanded vision.
Operation Ardent Dignity has been designed to create a disabled veteran dedicated platform capable of generating and focusing national attention onto Canada's wounded/disabled in a positive manner instead of limiting our thrust to protesting the substandard provisions they have been accorded through the New Veterans Charter. These brave men/women and their families have suffered greatly in Canada's name and since 2006, when the New Veterans Charter was implemented, have been subject to further despair through the government's abandonment of the sacred, LIFETIME obligation in favour of the Chump Sum Award.
I believe that it is all Canadians duty, regardless of personal feelings about war, to support those that have suffered the consequences of a Canadian parliament's decision to deploy Canada's sons and daughters into Harm's Way. You can help, your voice, when added to ours and thousands of veterans across the nation, can make a profound difference to one of our wounded warrior's future.
Operation Ardent Dignity's Principle Objectives.
1. Highlight sacrifice of Canada's Afghanistan wounded/injured, the impact these wounds/injuries have borne upon their lives, families and communities during a period of the year wherein a vast majority of the attention is focused on the fallen, not Canadians who returned home physically and mentally scarred from war and/or peacemaking.
2. Focus and increase national public awareness onto the compassionate-material-administrative needs of the modern Afghan War wounded with the intent of stimulating a national state of awareness and alliances inclusive of dedicated community and social support augmented by a united municipal-provincial-federal political element capable of identifying transition assistance resources such as provincial health and local employment opportunities.
3. Proactively address the substandard provisions of the New Veterans Charter, in particular, the LUMP SUM AWARD. This objective is growing increasingly urgent in light of the fact that the government has decided not to honour General Hillier's promises to find employment for the wounded within the Canadian Forces and now war-affected soldiers, sailors and airmen who cannot pass the CF Universality of Services fitness test will be medically released within three years of the last failure. Regardless of their ability to serve or contribute meaningfully to the Canadian Forces.
4. Focus national attention onto substandard provisions provided to the widows and memorial cross families as a consequence of the New Veterans Charter and encourage the government to redress the issues that inflict unnecessary restrictions or substandard support/ financial compensation to those who have sacrificed a son, a daughter, a husband, a wife, a father, a mother… The Canadian Veterans Advocacy is advocating for a return of lifetime pensions, the provision of VIP services, educational benefits for spuse and children not restricted by unrealistic time constraints…. We are advocating for parents who have sacrificed their sons and daughters and have been denied the death benefits compensation, an issue one bereaved family in Ontario is now addressing in the courts. We believe it is fundamentally unfair to deny a fallen son's or daughter's LAST WISH that, should they be unmarried at the time of sacrifice, his/her compensatory benefits should be awarded to his mother or father.
Operation Ardent Dignity -Operational Plan *Subject to change as situation dictates.
Operation Ardent Dignity will proceed on three fronts, two encouraging public assembly in the form of a rally/vigil/assets meeting, one based on launching a nation-wide dedicated MP contact engagement (email-telephone-letter-meeting) campaign respectfully requesting the government redress the hardship inducing consequences of the New Veterans Charter and restore the sacred, lifetime obligation this nation has shared with Canada's sons and daughters since conception!
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy has little faith in the power of petitions as a form of delivering our message to parliament/senate. We do believe, however, that if we can encourage Canadians to voluntarily send hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of personal emails to Prime Minister Harper, Minister of Veterans Affairs Blaney, those who serve on the VAC and DND senate and parliamentary committees and local MPs, we can ensure that our message for reform will be heard and our efforts will have an impact.
Nov 3rd, 2012 - Nation-wide Rally for Veterans
THIS IS NOT A PROTEST!!!!!
Our objectives are to create a Canada wide state of awareness to the presence of disabled veterans in our communities by encouraging politicians of all levels to unite with community leaders and veterans' organizations (VETS Canada, ANAVETS, Legion, Aboriginal, UN, NATO, and army, navy, air force associations…) under a platform designed to identify/unite community resources to identify/embrace the veterans of their communities in a positive venue without detracting from our obligation to the fallen as reflected by the Remembrance Day celebrations.
Far too often, the only opportunity disabled veterans in our community meet with their elected representatives (mayor, MPP, MP) is during the Remembrance Day ceremony where, due to the solemnity of the event, we feel that it may be inappropriate for them to discuss any adverse issues they may be confronting. When wounded/injured/poverty stricken (HOMELESS) veterans are identified, proactive, mutually supportive community programs can be applied.
Canada has sustained a high number of casualties during the past ten years of conflict in Afghanistan. To date, and God pray there will be no more, 158 of Canada's bravest have sacrificed their lives in OUR NAMES to the war in Afghanistan. Thousands have been adversely affected, many suffering catastrophic wounds/injuries, others ravaged by the debilitating horror of PTSD and consequential, life-altering mental health issues. We must accept that the wounded and their families have and will be returning to communities across Canada in the near future, we must accept that they will need assistance during this transition, that as veterans, community leaders and elected representatives it is our duty to rally our communities to welcome them and assist these families finding doctors, employment and education opportunities, the compassionate understanding that their lives have been forever changed by a war that we, Canadians, sent them to wage.
Ideally, events would be organized in a forum wherein a community's mayor, MPP and MP could meet with local veterans and assemble the appropriate social and community organizations. It is important that our populations are aware and respect our veterans service in a positive manner, that the living be honoured without the solemnity and duty to the dead inherent with Remembrance Day ceremonies. Through this positive forum, social, governmental, health and employment resources can be identified and introductions/working relationships established under one common principle, improving the quality of lives for of those who have wounded/injured while serving in Canada's name. Together, we can establish community level mechanisms to ensure that the needs of our war/peace wounded are met with compassion, dignity and honour.
There are a variety of platforms available but we would encourage local, provincial and federal politicians to step up and unite to host a Rally for Veterans in front of City Hall or at your local veterans club or if inclement weather threatens. It is vital that we attain the support of the local media if we are to attain the level of community awareness/support required to effectively identify wounded warriors within our communities and assemble/provide veterans specific resources to address family needs. If we are able to create a event that will be sponsored by local press –newspaper, radio, tv -, if we coordinate our efforts to coincide nation-wide national awareness program on the morning or afternoon of November, 3rd, we can present a national platform that will generate a great deal of interest in the welfare of our wounded warriors and improve the quality of live for our disabled soldiers, sailors, airman, RCMP/police services officers and veterans where ever they live in Canada
We are also encouraging community participation, the reason this event was selected to be on a Saturday. Remembrance Day is not a holiday for many and seldom falls on the weekend where school children and seniors requiring assistance can depend on sons and daughter to assist. Nor is this the day to honour those who survived without detracting from our duty to the fallen. Organizing/participating in a Rally for Veterans is a perfect opportunity to exercise take the lead in celebrating Canada's military history in a positive manner, for local mayors, councilors, MPP, MPs to invite your MP to speak of their support for those they send to war, those that, with proper preparation and media pre-event support, will be in attendance. You can make a difference, all you have to do is forward this email or telephone your mayor, city councilors, MPP and MP to encourage them to participate and ensure your community has mechanism in place to provide compassionate assistance to those within your community that have sacrificed so much.
Parliament Hill, Vigil for the Wounded. November 10th, 2012.
The second phase of Operation Ardent Dignity will be conducted Saturday, November 10th at the steps of Parliament Hill at 1100 hours. The format will be a Vigil for the Wounded and specifically designed to focus national awareness onto the disrespectful level of compensation our Afghanistan war wounded have been provided since 2006 and the restoration of the sacred life-time obligation parliament abandoned when this government implemented the New Veterans Charter. Many of Canada's wounded warriors, men and women who served in all generations from World War 2 to Afghanistan, will be attending local and national Remembrance Day services the following day and it is also our objective to foster a higher level of community awareness for their sacrifice.
The Vigil for the Wounded, due to the proximity of Remembrance Day and in recognition of life time of pain and suffering our Wounded Warriors experience every day, will be respectfully solemn with focus purposefully on the needs of our wounded warriors, their families, the widows and memorial cross recipients all of whom continue to suffer from the profoundly unfair, substandard levels of compensation and service. The Vigil for the Wounded will identify and focus national attention onto the areas requiring legislative redress, such as the Lump Sum Award, the need for comprehensive programs for our war widows, parliamentary changes to the ELB claw back if this issue has not moved forward to a legislative level by November, for greater inclusiveness in the Agent Orange containment settlement, recognition of DU and the toxic-health consequences those who served on Exercise Vacumm, Suffield, aboard HMCS Kootnenay or in Gulf War 1. Justice must be served, our duty will not cease until justice prevails.
Another principle objective is to draw attention to the imminent release of hundreds of seriously injured veterans as a consequence of a broken promise made with great fanfare by the government and supported by General Hillier, CDS of the Canadian Forces. Our war wounded, contrary to pledges of employment conforming to their physical/mental disabilities, will be subject to mandatory testing of fitness as defined by the Universality of Standard's minimum retention standards. There will be no exemptions for those who sustained serious, for example, foot, ankle and knee and hip damage compliments of an IED attack in Afghanistan. There will be no exemptions for warriors such a Major Mark Campbell and Master Corporal Jody Mitic, both who have demonstrated an ability to lead productive careers after sustaining wounds inclusive of double amputations.
Accordingly, it is our duty to prepare Canadians and our communities for the time wherein hundreds of Afghan war injured/wounded veterans will be medically released from the Canadian Forces and ensuring we have the municipal, provincial and federal support elements to ensure there transition civilian life does not aggravate their physical and mental wounds.
Community employment objectives!!!!.
One of the most important components of operation Ardent Dignity is to draw the attention of Canada's employers to the special needs of our disabled veterans/ families needs and seek their support in searching for a variety of employment opportunities within their communities. Canada's disabled veterans have been valuable assets to the Canadian Forces, just because they can no longer fulfill the physically demanding Canadian Forces Universality of Service fitness standards does not reflect upon their ability, even after sustaining catastrophic injuries, to perform a variety of duties at a very high and competent level.
These men and women are employable. These men and women do bring impressive leadership and technical skills forward, they can be trained for a specific field of employment compliments of the SISIP rehabilitation program and with apprenticeship opportunities, proper networking and understanding, have dignified employment compassionate to their disability and cognitive of the extraordinary sacrifice these men and women have made in the nations name.
Together, we can attain the objectives Operation Ardent Dignity has been designed to create, together, we can establish the levels of community support required to ensure that our wounded warriors live their lives in dignity, financial security and community respect.
How can you help?
1 If you are a mayor, councilor, Member of Provincial Parliament, Member of Parliament… TAKE the lead! These men and women are, or soon will be, your constituents when they repatriate to your communities. Set a place for the Rally, contact your local military association and organizations, get the team together and discuss cooperative strategies for providing health, community and employment assistance. Contact your community's health system, identify if there are doctors, wound specialists, psychologists, physiotherapist, prosthetic… willing to care for a wounded warrior and his family. Dentists? Business, industry, contacts willing to provide economic opportunities to the wounded, their wives and kids? Contractors re ramps or other special needs? Plumbers? Now is the time to make a difference.
If you are a veteran… support this effort. This is about raising awareness of a wounded warrior and his/her family returning to our communities and creating a unified mutually supportive response to ALL their needs in patriotic respect for their sacrifice. Contact your mayor, your MPP, your MP, forward them Operation Ardent Dignity and pledge your support, tell your fellow veterans, encourage your local social and service clubs to embrace November 3rd host a Rally for Veterans. Most importantly, seek community support and spread awareness, together we can render great assistance to veterans spouses and children confronting extraordinary difficult changes in their lives. Each of us, our voice, our presence, our efforts, will improve the quality of live for the wounded and demonstrate that we, this generation of Canadians, are just as proud of our men and women in uniform as every generation prior to 2006. We will restore the SACRED OBLIGATION this nation owes to those who have suffered the consequences of war and peace.
Pro Patria Semper Fidelis.
Michael L Blais CD.
Canadian Veterans Advocacy.
Michael L Blais CD
Founder/President, Canadian Veterans Advocacy
6618 Harper Drive, Niagara Falls, Ont, Cda.
L2E 7K6 // 905-357-3306 // Cell 905-359-9247
To unsubscribe from these announcements, login to the forum and uncheck "Receive forum announcements and important notifications by email." in your profile.
You can view the full announcement by following this link:
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.