I cannot express how profoundly saddened I was when my friend Glen Kirkland phoned from Manitoba this afternoon to inform me of his friend's tragic suicide. We spoke to the need of definitive reforms/improvements at JPSU level to ensure such tragic circumstances are prevented through effective policies. As a consequence of this conversation, we have made this issue the top priority for CVA Director of CF Engagement Barry Westholm, who has extensive knowledge of the t5ransitional process and the needs of the physically and mentally wounded.
Much to my dismay, Glen called this evening to inform there had been another suicide, another serving member going through the transition process. He was pretty shaken up, as was I and I would take the opportunity to express our profound condolences to the families of the fallen who will, at this time, remain unnamed.
And Fallen these two valiant men are!
No, they did not die on the sands of the Panjawaii Valley but they damn well did return to Canada with a wound of the mind that proved fatal.
How can this happen???? Were they not provided the proper diagnosis and effective care, the compassion and timely treatment they deserved? Was the Sacred Obligation the Department of National Defence has for the wounded in transition met, or were they abandoned, helpless, alone, left with no recourse but to seek release from the pain through suicide?
Let us as a nation honour and grieve these men's sacrifice on behalf of Canada as we have grieved and honoured those who have travelled the Highway of Heroes.
Their sacrifice is no less worthy, the wounds of the mind they incurred in Afghanistan no less fatal than those who were repatriated with life threatening wounds and passed on Canadian soil.
May the Lord welcome our fallen Brothers and bless their families and friends during their period of profound grief.
Michael L Blais CD
President/Founder - Canadian Veterans Advocacy
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