Back from Afghanistan, Canadian veterans in trouble


This video from the USA is called Veterans and Iraq Event in Waterloo, IA.

From the Edmonton Sun in Canada:

Families of wounded military vets strugling: study

By BILL GRAVELAND, The Canadian Press

CALGARY — They are the invisible victims of Canada’s military efforts around the world.

The families of wounded soldiers released from active duty due to severe disabilities are poorer, less healthy and less socially active, says a study prepared for Veterans Affairs Canada.

It’s a growing problem as Canadian soldiers continue to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan and help keep the peace in global hot spots.

Soldiers who can no longer serve in the military receive full pensions, but the University of Alberta study suggests their families still struggle.

A Canada-wide review involved 142 wounded soldiers and 115 of their caretakers and paints a painful picture of what life is like at home.

Reuters reports today:

U.S.-led coalition troops, backed by air strikes, killed 28 Taliban insurgents in southwestern Afghanistan, but six to eight civilians were also killed in the operation, the provincial governor said on Monday.

Civilian and military deaths at new highs in Afghan war: here.

From the Globe and Mail in Canada:

Canadians oppose Iraq war: poll

GLORIA GALLOWAY

From Monday’s Globe and Mail

June 29, 2008 at 11:11 PM EDT

OTTAWA — Canadians are solidly opposed to the war in Iraq and most Americans now believe that our decision not to join that prolonged and unpopular conflict was a good one, a new poll suggests.

A wide-ranging public opinion survey conducted earlier this month by the Strategic Counsel for The Globe and Mail and CTV explored the beliefs that Canadians and Americans hold about national security, the U.S. election, health care, gay marriage, the Iraqi conflict – and each other.

While the world views in both countries differ, the poll suggests there is considerable common ground when it comes to Iraq.

Opposition to the war is huge in Canada, where 82 per cent of respondents said the invasion was the wrong decision. That’s a major reversal from five years ago, during the early days of the conflict, when 51 per cent of poll respondents said Canadian troops should jump to the aid of the United States.

It’s also a change that is being reflected south of the border where 54 per cent of American respondents to this month’s survey said their country never should have become involved militarily in Iraq.

And an even greater number – 59 per cent – of Americans surveyed applaud Canada’s decision to stay home.

Hersh: Bush has escalated the secret war inside Iran: here.

From The Guardian:

Nearly half of British troops regularly consider quitting the army and navy because of plummeting morale, poor equipment and low pay, a Ministry of Defence survey of more than 24,000 military personnel has found.

Veteran Domestic Violence Remains Camouflaged: here.

9 thoughts on “Back from Afghanistan, Canadian veterans in trouble

  1. Dear Supporter,

    Last summer I got a call from someone who had seen some of our past work. She started off being extremely complimentary about the issues we were bringing to light, marveling at how widely we were able to distribute our short videos to not only inform, but to motivate viewers to take action. She then asked if Brave New Foundation would be interested in taking on a large project to help amplify the stories of a group of Americans whose efforts and sacrifices weren’t being acknowledged. She warned me that it would be a difficult task since it only directly affected less than 1% of the US population.

    Watch In Their Boots
    Watch In Their Boots LIVE
    tonight at 7pm ET

    Being a bit headstrong (even in my middle age), I said that no task was too difficult. If there is an injustice, we could tackle it and help to make it right! But what she wanted was difficult. The task we took on was to tell the stories of servicemembers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Over the past several months, as we gathered our staff and began to meet the men and women who have served, we knew that it would be a privilege to be able to share the stories of these servicemembers and their families so that the other 99% of the US population can better understand what is happening to our troops when they return from war.

    We wanted to do something different than our usual short videos with this project, so we developed an idea for a LIVE internet-based show and decided to call it In Their Boots to let the audience know they would be hearing the information from the servicemembers’ points of view.

    The show premieres today, Wednesday July 2nd, at 4pm Pacific/5 Mountain/6 Central/7 Eastern at http://www.intheirboots.com. The stories are riveting and the show will be broadcast LIVE. You will have the opportunity to hear the stories from these servicemembers, learn about organizations that are helping, and find out how you can help as well.

    The show will be broadcast from our brand new studio (it was a beauty parlor just 2 months ago), not quite finished since we are still doing some fundraising, but looking pretty good. Since it is LIVE, we invite you all to join the discussion and become part of webcast history by asking our interview guest a question, live, “on the air.”

    We are proud of what we have put together and we hope that you all tune in to see this. Please let us know what you think of it as well. And if you miss any part of the episode, be sure to check it out on our site: http://www.intheirboots.com. We plan on producing a new episode every Wednesday, live at 4pm Pacific.

    I hope to hear from you soon. As always, thank you for your support.

    Best,
    Jim Miller
    and the Brave New Foundation team

    Like

  2. Military Fights to Stop Bush Repeating His Iraq Errors in Iran

    Posted by: “frankofbos” FrankOfBos@yahoo.com

    Wed Jul 2, 2008 10:50 pm (PDT)

    Ranking military officials push back on Bush military plans against
    Iran. “We built this big monster with Iraq, and there was nothing
    there. This [Iran] is son of Iraq” said one general. Also, a related
    Bushism, the wisdom of Lincoln, and a related item currently in the
    news.

    http://poorgeorgesalmanac.com/?p=324

    Today’s categories: Bushisms, Failing the Troops, Foreign Policy Foul
    Ups, Proven Wrong

    Like

  3. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghan1-2008jul01,0,2046702.story

    June is deadliest month for troops in Afghanistan war

    Forty-five international troops are slain. The number surpasses the monthly total in Iraq for the second straight month.
    From the Associated Press

    July 1, 2008

    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — At least 45 international troops, including at least 27 Americans, died in Afghanistan in June, the deadliest month since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban, according to an Associated Press count.

    It was also the second straight month in which militants killed more U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan than in Iraq.

    The Taliban in June staged a sophisticated jailbreak that freed about 900 prisoners, then briefly overran a strategic valley outside Kandahar. Last week, a Pentagon report forecast the fundamentalist Islamic militia would maintain or increase its attacks, which are already up 40% this year from 2007 in areas where U.S. troops operate along the Pakistani border.

    In Iraq, at least 31 international soldiers died in June: 29 U.S. troops and one each from the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Azerbaijan. There are 144,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, along with 4,000 from Britain and small contingents from several other nations.

    The 40-nation international coalition is much broader in Afghanistan, where only about half of the 65,000 international troops are American.

    U.S. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Schloesser, the top commander of U.S. forces here, said in June that militant attacks were becoming more complex — such as gunfire from multiple angles plus a roadside bomb. Insurgents are using more explosives, he said.

    Mark Laity, the top NATO spokesman in Afghanistan, said troops were taking the fight to insurgents in remote areas and putting themselves in harm’s way. One or two events can disproportionately affect the monthly death toll, he said.

    In June, at least 13 British troops were killed, along with at least two Canadians and one person each from Poland, Romania and Hungary.

    The AP count found that about 580 people died in insurgent violence last month, including about 440 militants, 34 civilians and 44 members of the Afghan security forces. More than 2,100 people have died in violence this year, according to the AP count, which is based on figures from Afghan, U.S. and NATO officials.

    On Monday, an Afghan official said U.S.-led forces backed by warplanes killed 28 militants in southwestern Afghanistan, including several Taliban commanders.

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said it killed several more insurgents in coordination with Pakistani forces along the mountainous border, and three members of the U.S.-led coalition died when their vehicle rolled into a riverbed Sunday.

    Like

  4. Join us on August 2 in more than 50 local actions all across the country.

    Get in touch with friends, co workers, community and religious groups and students.

    Together we can say –

    Not ANOTHER war!
    Troops Out of Iraq
    No War on Iran
    We need health care and education NOT Endless war!

    MASS MARCH IN NYC
    …and 50+ Other Cities
    SATURDAY, AUGUST 2
    Assemble 12 p.m.
    at Times Square
    43rd St. & Broadway

    On June 26, the Stop War on Iran Campaign issued a call for emergency actions on August 2 to stop the Bush Administration’s drive towards an attack against Iran.

    In the few days since we’ve issued the call, responses have been pouring in. Already, we have heard back from activists and organizers who are planning protests, rallies, and pickets in more than 50 cities, including a major demonstration in New York City in Times Square and a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington. Actions will also be held in Los Angeles, several cities in Texas, locations throughout New England, small towns in Utah, and more. We are working on compiling a list of the growing number of local actions now, which we will have online soon.

    It is urgent that we act now, and that we make every possible effort to stop a war against Iran. We know that once Wall Street and the Pentagon, initiate a war and occupation, they are determined to continue, even in the face of determined resistance and opposition. Iraq and Afghanistan have been ripped to shreds by the invasion and occupation. Millions are without potable water, electricity, functioning schools, basic health care or security. Millions more have become refugees.

    The cost of endless war means growing hunger and poverty here in the U.S. It also means deteriorating schools and infrastructure and millions of people without health care.

    The U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan is hated by the people there. These wars have no support at home and are ruining the domestic economy. Instead of pulling out, the Bush administration is preparing for still another war—this time against Iran. This must be stopped!

    We must take action now. Please consider how you can help – what you do in the next few weeks can make a difference:

    * Endorse the Emergency Call to Action for August 2
    * List your local action
    * Sign the Petition
    * Make an Emergency Donation
    * Tell a Friend
    * Sign up for updates

    Like

  5. STAR INVESTIGATION

    TheStar.com | Canada

    Home is new Afghan war front

    Combat vets continue battle at home Warrant Officer Roger Perreault fought in Afghanistan and came home a troubled, broken man. With Perreault’s story we launch the War at Home series. Video by Randy Risling. (June 12, 2009)

    CHRISTOPHER PIKE FOR THE TORONTO STAR
    Fran Perreault, 15-year-old Marissa and Warrant Officer Roger Perreault. “Some days I just wish he never went there,” Marissa says of her dad. (June 4, 2009)

    More than 26,000 Canadians have served in Afghanistan. In the first of a three-part series, we tell the story of one soldier’s troubled return

    Jun 12, 2009 04:30 AM

    David Bruser
    Staff Reporter

    Warrant Officer Roger Perreault trained 20 years for his chance at a combat tour.

    The army engineer knew how to blow up walls and bulldoze new roads – important work in a war zone where doors are booby-trapped and old roads are lined with hidden bombs.

    Perreault took those critical skills and a good-luck charm aboard a bus full of soldiers departing CFB Petawawa on Aug. 1, 2006. His mission: to build a route for the Canadian infantry in Panjwai district, Afghanistan.

    “My great-grandfather was an engineer in World War I,” Perreault says. “I had his cap badge. I brought it over there for good luck.”

    Perreault’s wife, Fran, remembers his departure day very clearly, because her family would never be the same again.

    “On Aug. 1, I put one man on that bus. Nov. 3, a different man came home. He looked like my husband. He talked like my husband. But it wasn’t my husband. Part of him is still over there somewhere and I don’t know if I’ll ever get it back.”

    Before his deployment, Perreault spent long hours in the gym building his body. His friends called him Rhino. The extra muscle would prove critical. The cap badge was of no help. He lost that during a firefight in the desert.

    Warrant Officer Roger Perreault hits his wife.

    “He doesn’t even realize he’s done it, even though I wake him up at that point. He gets off me, rolls back over. The next morning he asks me why I have bruises on my neck, why I have black eyes.”

    On occasion Fran has had to rely on makeup and scarves so she can leave the house for the base, where she manages a cleaning company.

    “I’m a pretty small woman. He’s a pretty big guy. He would cry. He would be ashamed. I would say, `Don’t worry about it. It’s not your fault.’ He really took it hard.”

    It’s after 8 p.m. on a Tuesday in Petawawa. The Perreaults live a couple of blocks off base. She sits at the dining room table, the family collie, Sapper, panting nearby and the four kids padding about the small, two-storey house. In a few days, Fran and Roger will mark their 16th wedding anniversary.

    “I did get strangled one night.” Fran says. “I woke up, I couldn’t breathe. I kneed him in the stomach. I had marks on my neck. I covered it up with turtlenecks and makeup. My closest friends understood. They’ve dealt with the same things.

    “He wasn’t doing it to be vindictive or mean. He was someone else in his sleep. He’d been dreaming he was under attack.”

    A knock at the door.

    “Come in,” Perreault says, but doesn’t get off the couch. He cannot move about as he once did. An aluminum cane is within reach.

    Fran is at work on the base and the kids are at school.

    He wears a T-shirt that reads, “Courage is being afraid but going anyway.”

    In a quiet voice, the 39-year-old tells his visitor the story of his tour. He moves through the details cautiously.

    Perreault and the 180 other guys from Petawawa landed, relieved soldiers from Edmonton, and immediately headed to a patrol base. The troops would remain “pretty well out of the gate most of the tour” – that is, out in the countryside, off base, 30 days at a time, returning only to resupply and shower.

    “On the way out (to the patrol base) we got ambushed for 5 kilometres and one guy got injured,” Perreault says. “That was the start. Right there, it set things in stone.

    “I’ve been in Bosnia and it doesn’t even compare to Afghanistan. The whole time we were in Panjwai we were always under contact.”

    A month into the tour, during Operation Medusa, Perreault and about 100 other men prepared to take “the white school.”

    “It was an actual school the Taliban were in. Several days prior we had dropped in leaflets telling the locals to get out of the area. We were coming in to capture or remove the Taliban. Early morning, we crossed the Arghandab River.

    “We weren’t using existing roads because of IEDs (improvised explosive devices). We were building our own (using) a big loader and dozers. Things were going well. Seemed like there was nothing going on, and then we got ambushed.

    “They were shooting RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades). We lost two warrants and then I lost a sergeant. Sgt. (Shane) Stachnik.”

    Perreault looks out the living room window, his eyes welling.

    “Just a moment… ”

    “We lost a private, too. Basically we got our ass kicked.

    “We pulled back. The worst thing I had to do, we had to bag the guys, the two warrants ended up in the bottom of the LAV (light armoured vehicle). We had to pull ’em out and bag them. F—ing sucked.”

    Perreault chokes up.

    “Stachnik, he was one of my guys. He was in an LAV. When the round came in and hit the turret on the side, hit him in the neck, and it severed his main artery and he bled out, fast.”

    A month after the battle for the white school, Perreault’s military career, at least the career he had envisioned, would end.

    It was around 5 p.m. on Oct. 7, the sun fading, and Perreault and others from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment were standing on the side of a dirt track discussing their progress on a road-building project.

    “We were moving another 100 metres down the road, and I decided that I’m not going to get back in the LAV. I’ll just walk. I started walking along aside the LAV. For some reason, I thought: `This (road) hasn’t been watched in a while.’ And as I said that to myself it went off. Bang.

    “The blast threw me in the air. It kicked me up backward. I was airborne. Landed on my butt.”

    Perreault says he later learned the vehicle had hit a road bomb made of an Italian land mine with a flechette round, which contains little daggers. He figures the bomb was a partial dud; otherwise, he’d be dead.

    “I was a body builder. I was around 220. I was in the gym all the time. That’s what held me together – my muscle mass.”

    Standing in the turret of another vehicle 20 metres away, Sgt. Neil Coates watched as the bomb detonated.

    “It was very hot and sunny,” Coates recalls. “The ground was very dusty. Dust that’s six inches deep. There was like a fireball and then a big cloud of dust. It blew Roger over.”

    Perreault says he got up and walked away from the vehicle. “You get hit by an IED and chances are you can get ambushed. Some of the people that observed me afterward said I walked like I was a drunk. I thought I was walking straight.”

    He sat in a firing position.

    “I remember my ears were ringing really bad.

    “I kept saying, `I’m all right. I’m all right. Just leave me alone.’ Someone said, `Well, then stand up.’ I couldn’t. I got carried out of there.”

    Perreault suffered a cracked tailbone and other damage to his spine, and underwent three surgeries in an Ottawa hospital. After one of the operations, an infection set in, some organs showed signs of shutting down, and on a Saturday night Fran called their eldest child, Marissa, and told her that dad might not live through the weekend.

    Roger recovered after doctors found that his spinal cord was nicked during surgery, causing a leak of cord fluid. He struggles with nerve pain; he takes blood thinners to help prevent clots in his legs. In February he underwent hip surgery to repair bone damage from the blast. He has a desk job on base. Perhaps the worst of his problems is post-traumatic stress disorder.

    “There’s a lot of things involved in it,” Perreault says. “Guilt. One of my best friends (Stachnik) died. That’s what I’m having a hard time with. He lived right down the road from me. Just driving by there friggin’ bothers me. It hurts.”

    Interrupted sleep. Nightmares. Flashbacks. Sleep deprived, Perreault has had trouble remembering things told to him just two minutes earlier. For a year he denied he was suffering from the disorder. “It’s kind of something that you’re not really proud of.”

    But his hair-trigger anger made the disorder impossible to ignore.

    On a summer evening in 2007, Perreault went to pick up his daughters from dance class and parked in the furniture store’s lot next to the studio. He says the store owner came out and told him to move if he wasn’t there to buy furniture.

    “I got out of the vehicle. In my mind I was going to kill the guy. That was my mission: to beat the f— out of him. I was boiling.” Perreault kept advancing, barking at the man, until Fran shouted him down.

    “It’s not normal. It’s stress. When we’re over there, under contact with the Taliban every second or third day, the enemy shooting at you, it’s like constant go, go, go. The solution there is to shoot. You get back here, you don’t know how to deal with it.

    “We come back and we’re just a bag of nails. It’s like, why am I yelling at my kids all the time?

    “To me, that’s sinful,” Perreault says, his eyes welling up again, “when your kids can’t even approach you because they’re afraid of you.”

    About 16 kilometres southeast of Petawawa, the Phoenix Centre for Children and Families in Pembroke has seen its military family caseload jump from 12 in 2005 to 85 today, with another 20 on the waiting list.

    The Perreaults are among those 85. Fifteen-year-old Marissa gets counselling there, and she says her brothers, Mathew, 11, and Derek, 9, sometimes go to group therapy.

    “It’s really hard to live with someone who has (post-traumatic stress disorder),” says the teenager. The night Fran called with the news Roger was failing in the hospital, Marissa got so drunk a friend’s mother had to take her to the hospital. She stayed there until morning.

    Marissa says that for a short time after her father returned from Afghanistan, she cut herself.

    “It was like a razor blade off a (pencil) sharpener. I did it on my wrists and then my sister noticed and told my parents, so then I started doing it on my legs. I haven’t done any of that in a long time.”

    She hopes her counsellor can help her build a better relationship with her father.

    “I understand what he did was really good and stuff, but some days I just wish he never went there.”

    Perreault lives on a steady diet of pills – a blood thinner, an antidepressant, an anti-psychotic, Lyrica for nerve pain and slow-release morphine – and on anger.

    There are many sources:

    That delays by various groups meant his daughter had to wait two years for help.

    That the military allowed his squadron to split up shortly after the tour. “They rip the squadron right apart; they get posted all over the place. There’s no cohesion. I went through the first year dealing with all aspects of things on my own. There was no support.”

    That a new system of compensating injured soldiers means Perreault gets not a cent for having post-traumatic stress disorder. His numerous other injuries maxed out allowable payout, leaving several injuries uncompensated. And the money he did get was paid in a lump sum, not in monthly instalments over time.

    “This is stuff you suffer the rest of your life. If this stuff gets worse with age, f—, there’s nothing there. I have four kids. That’s the thanks you get for going overseas to fight for your country.”

    When questioned for this story, military spokespeople said a veteran like Perreault can max out, but is eligible to be reimbursed for medicine and therapy. As to family counselling, a spokesperson said it is not the military’s responsibility, though referrals are made to outside counselling agencies.

    Perreault plans to keep working his desk job on base until his scheduled release in three years. This publicity likely won’t make life any easier on CFB Petawawa.

    “The only reason why I’m speaking about some of it now is because my career is over,” Perreault says.

    “I don’t regret going there. It was my job to go there.

    “I trained my whole career to go do something like that. The sad thing of it is the aftermath.”

    Every day at work, Fran sees fit and vigorous soldiers marching around the base, and it’s a reminder of what Roger will never be.

    “He was the warrant everyone wanted to be under. He knew when to be the hard-ass, he knew when he had to lay down the law, and when to ease up. They liked him for that.

    “He’s been pushed in a corner. He’s useless to the regiment; he’s useless to the military.

    “We have other friends who are injured, same tour. We all sit together at functions. It’s almost like we have the plague.

    “It’s like we were the diseased outcasts. We all have leprosy. Don’t talk to the people in the corner. You know what they are.

    “They’re the forgotten ones. That’s what me and my friends call them.”

    http://www.thestar.com/article/649681

    Like

  6. Please kindly consider reviewing and/or commenting upon the following:

    Perhaps we have all learned too readily to live ‘too high off the hog’ so to speak and I for one must learn quickly to bear these burdens as part of my purpose on this earth as our Good Lord will and would have? This aforementioned admission on my part is not intended in any way shape or form to excuse the delinquincies and inexcussable irresponsible inactivities on the part of our elected representatives, our media reporters and those who would allegedly present themselves as perpetrators for that which is right for you and I. Regretfully, having ‘spoon fed’ the first thousand or so of candidates (i.e., alleged media reporters, political representatives, ministers, etc.) with this information, I am forced to limit this continuing crisis notification, to those possibly remaining honest reporters/politicians/ministers/etc., to the following (please contact me at your convenience in the event that you require further clarification, thank you):

    The following is a very brief history of the travesties in justice which only one veteran has had to sustain over the past 17 years, but is presented as a resonable example of what too many other veterans have had to sustain from successive Canadian governments. The critical and unanswered question remains: “If this is the manner in which successive Canadian governments (including the present one) have treated men and women who have placed their lives on the line for these same Canadian governments, to what extent are these same travesties in justice being forced on all Canadian citizens with or without their knowledege of these same unlawful transgressions?”

    The following introduces a Canadian veteran who has unfortunately encountered far too many delayed obligations of successive Canadian governments in attempting to maintain survival in this country. This individual completed his army reserve basic training, graduating not much more than 2 and a half years prior to the late PM Rt. Hon. P.E. Trudeau invoking the War Measures Act. This same graduation occured some 23 years prior to this same veteran successfully completing his army reserve officer training, which was followed by just less than 5 years of service in the Canadian Navy where he trained as a Combat Systems Engineer (CSE or 044A). The third and final session of this veteran’s military training included basic officer training at Chilliwack, B.C., second language training at St. Jean, Que. and a year in Esquimalt, followed by just less than 3 years service at the Canadian naval base in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    While training in Esquimalt, B.C., this veteran was billeted to the HMCS Qu’Appelle where he injured his spinal cord at three levels subsequent to a fall in the showers onboard that same warship. As this accident occurred while away from that warship’s homeport (towards the end of 3 months of naval exercises in the South Pacific along with the Australian, Japanese and American navies), this veteran was confined to his rack and provided with pain killers until returning to Esquimalt some 5 days later where he was rushed by ambulance to the base hospital in Esquimalt. Other than being supplied with additional pain killers and 3 or 4 brief sessions of physiotherapy, this veteran’s real injuries were not treated at that base hospital, nor at the base hospital in Halifax, where he was shipped as part of his next phase of training some 2 months later. Upon release from the Canadian Navy in 1993, this veteran was assessed by a qualified medical general practioner (GP: Dr. R.A. Killeen), in Lower Sackville, NS, who immediately identified a C5/C6 radiculopathy (occuring from an upper spinal cord injury) which had resulted from the accidental fall onboard the HMCS Qu’Appelle. This same GP referred this veteran for assessment initially to a diagnostic service in Halifax (i.e., spinal cord MRI), an orthopedic surgeon, and an internal medicine specialist. All of these graduates and post-graduates in medicine agreed that the three levels of spinal cord injuries (i.e., C5/C6; T11/T12 & L2/L3) most likely were the result of this veteran’s previously described accidental fall when serving onboard the HMCS Qu’Appelle.

    Subsequently, in March 1996 this veteran applied for a disability pension with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (note: initially this pension was applied for in 1994 but, after identifying at least one blatant example where the Veterans Review and Appeal Board [VRAB] deliberately misled authorities, the actual application through the Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocates in Halifax, NS, was delayed until March 1996; refer to Table A at the end of this description). The VRAB ruled on three separate occasions against this veteran’s application for a disability pension within the first year of application (refer to Table A). This veteran was subsequently forced to bring the VRAB into the Trial Division of the Federal Court (Fed. Ct.) which ruled that the matter be referred back to a differently-constituted panel of the VRAB board (refer to Fed. Ct. case T-157-98).

    The allegedly differently-constituted VRAB panel ruled twice more within the next year against this veteran’s claim and were brought again before the Trial Division which ruled again that the matter be referred back to a differently-constituted panel, while additionally awarding costs to this veteran (Fed. Ct. case T-2137-99). This next allegedly differently-constituted VRAB panel failed to provide a decision within the next year, indicating their Modus Operandi of acting above and beyond both the legislated laws of Canada and the authority of the legislated authorities in the Trial Division of the Federal Court, forcing this veteran to file a motion with the Trial Division of “contempt of court”.

    While the Trial Division would not award this motion by citing the VRAB in contempt, it did award costs to this veteran, even though none were requested, and supplied a step-by-step procedure to obtain justice in this case. With both no legal training, nor the necessary funds to engage the services of a legal professional to represent this veteran’s case, this veteran attempted to bring the VRAB before the Trial Division again, after being denied a disability pension with the VRAB’s next (and sixth) decision, this veteran consequently lost in this fourth decision of the Federal Court Trial Division (Fed. Ct. case #T-67-03), in spite of providing professional testimony from a neurosurgeon, an orthopedic surgeon and a general practitioner with more than 35 years of experience (not to mention the several cases cited in jurisprudence which support this veteran’s claims).

    Note that none of these submissions by professional graduates of medicine were contradicted by testimonies from similar medical professionals on the part of the VRAB, yet the Trial Division of the Fed. Ct. ruled against this veteran’s claims. This veteran was encouraged to re-approach the Trial Division based upon a lady who won her case in the Appeal Division in Ontario after using this veteran’s first two cases (i.e., T-157-98 & T-2137-99) as precedents. To render such a re-approach at such a late stage in the events, this veteran was encouraged to concentrate on his lower back injuries (i.e. T11/T12 & L2/L3) …. thereby, allegedly implying settlement for the upper back injuries …. even though such a settlement had never occured to that date.

    The Trial Division ruled again in the veteran’s favor (Fed. Ct. case #T-401-05) and referred the matter back again to a differently-constituted panel of the VRAB board. That same board ruled on 4 more separate occasions against this veteran’s application for a disability pension, forcing the matter back to the Trial Division for an attempted ultimate resolution (Fed. Ct. case #T-617-09). The VRAB fully exhausted the total legislated number of decisions to which they were entitled in this veteran’s application, recognizing that an award of a disability pension to this veteran would mean financial ruin and subsequent political suicide for the government allegedly ‘in charge’ at the time of such a decision, given the tens of thousands of other veterans, their spouses and dependants who remained deprived of such benefits.

    The Hon. Mr. Justice Phelan (Fed. Ct. case #T-617-09) decided: “THIS COURT’S JUDGMENT is that the application for judicial review is granted and the Appeal Board’s decision is quashed.” Unfortunately, such a ruling did nothing more than refer the same matter back to the Respondent (e.g., Veterans’ Affairs), thus prolonging the history of this veteran’s claims and thereby moving these same claims from the ridiculous to the sublime, as far as the actual service of justice to this veteran is concerned.

    While Canadian governments over the past 80+ years have continued to disregard their legislated obligations to veterans of the CF and Mounted Police, along with their spouses and dependants, to what extent do you believe these same governments are allegedly meeting their legislated obligations to the remainder of Canadian citizens?

    On top of all of this, this veteran has had to represent himself in the Trial Division of the Fed. Ct. on no less than 6 separate occasions with all of these occassions applying to his claims with the VRAB [refer to Fed. Ct. case numbers: T-157-98, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 1999 CanLII 7476 (F.C.) or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/1999/1999canlii7476/1999canlii7476.html; T-2137-99, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2001 FCT 793 or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2001/2001fct793/2001fct793.html; T-2137-99, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2003 FCT 12 (CanLII) or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2003/2003fct12/2003fct12.html; T-67-03, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2004 FC 996 or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2004/2004fc996/2004fc996.html; T-401-05, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2005 FC 1470 or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2005/2005fc1470/2005fc1470.html; and T-617-09, Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2011 FC 309 or http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2011/2011fc309/2011fc309.html%5D.

    In all of these decisions (including the last two; T-401-05 & T-617-09) except one (i.e., T-67-03), the Hon. Justices supported this applicant’s claims and rejected the VRAB’s decisions. As the greater burden of factual evidence from both graduates and post-graduates in the fields of medicine, applicable to this veteran’s spinal cord injuries, supported his claims along with the greater majority of the above-listed decisions, who but a politician who allegedly represents his electorate didn’t see ‘adequate electoral returns’ in seriously supporting this applicant’s claims, would ignore these facts and not attempt to ensure this veteran receive something resembling the actual service of justice …. not to mention the adherence to legislated laws by a Fed. gov’t dept. (i.e., VRAB)?

    The Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocates presented this veteran’s case to the VRAB on July 6, 2011 and the VRAB provided a decision applicable to this same latest presentation of this applicant’s case dated July 5, 2011 (i.e., one day prior to the actual presentation of this veteran’s claims to the VRAB). Such pre-emptive decisions and complete lack of fair and due process, has been the ‘ear mark’ of the VRAB’s alleged handling of this veteran’s claims over the past 17 years …. not to mention the similar manner in which this same Fed. gov’t dept. has ignored it’s legislated obligations to other veterans, their spouses and dependants.

    History has been written, how more often do we have to ignore these blatant travesties in the service of justice before learning lessons which apply to all Canadian citizens?

    Yours truly,

    Brian C. Bradley, Calgary, AB email: bcbradl5y@inbox.com

    Table A: Applicant’s Claims History with VRAB

    Date Description

    13-Jul-90 Applicant was an active member in the Canadian Forces when the accident occurred onboard the HMCS Qu’Appelle
    22-Mar-96(1) Applicant submitted Application for Disability Pensions including Declarations
    1-Jan-99 Justice Blais: Reasons for Order (refer to Docket T-157-98)
    18-Aug-99 Dr. Coady/VRAB letter dated August 18, 1999
    13-Jul-01 Justice MacKay: ‘Reasons for Order’ (refer to Docket T-2137-99)
    22-Mar-02 Dr. Killeen/VRAB letter dated March 22, 2000
    6-Jan-02 Bradley / Federal Court of Canada Correspondence
    9-Jan-03 Order from the Hon. Mr. Justice Martineau
    28-Jul-04 Applicant submitted Application for Disability Pension including Declaration; Note: BOARD’s and the Minister’s latest decisions of this date and March 13, 2006, as well as their previously noted decisions on this matter, ignore the medical evidence before them as it has erroneously done in other cases (e.g., Rivard v. Canada, 2001; Schott v. Canada, 2001; and Smith v. Canada, 2001)
    Jan. 06/06 MRI Spinal Cord Report
    04 Feb. 06 Bradley/Federal Court of Canada letter
    20 Feb. 06 Bradley/Federal Court of Canada letter
    22 Feb. 06 Bradley/Federal Court of Canada letter
    01 Mar. 06 Bradley/Federal Court of Canada letter
    03 Mar. 06 Bradley/Federal Court of Canada letter
    13 Mar. 06 BOARD finally decided to comply with the Hon. Mr. Justice O’Keefe’s Order of October 28, 2005
    13 Mar. 06 Bradley/Federal Court of Canada / Appeals Division letter dated March 13, 2006
    13 Mar. 06 Minister of Veterans Affairs decision
    24-Jan-07 Prothonotary’s Order (Roger R. Lafrenière)
    14-Jun-07 VRAB/Bradley letter excusing their next delay
    29-Jun-07 Judge’s Direction (Michel MJ Shore)
    5-Aug-08 VRAB denies applicant’s disability pension
    15-Mar-11 Order from the Hon. Mr. Justice Phelan
    5-Jul-11 VRAB’s decision denies applicant’s claim for a disability pension
    6-Jul-11 Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocates presents applicant’s case to the VRAB

    Note: VRAB’s blatant lack of both any and all ideas of fair and due process, are exemplfied by their last decision (i.e., 5-Jul-11) dated the day before the Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocates were given the opportunity to present this veteran’s case to the VRAB (i.e., 6-Jul-11) .,,,,, thus exemplifiying the VRAB’s lack of both the allegedly legislated intent and spirit when deciding upon this applicant’s claims.

    (1) After two years (1994-1996) of denial by VA, despite investigations which revealed instances of their misleading both judicial and due process.

    Why must this veteran’s case (and/or that of all other veterans, their spouses and dependants) be ‘pushed’ to the Appeal Division of the Fed. Ct. (or ultimately to the Supreme Court), before a ruling and/or decision is provided which forces the Fed. gov’t dept. to recognize all of it’s legislated obligations to all veterans, their spouses and dependants, while meeting both the intent and spirit of these same legislated obligations by granting the claims of these same citizens and/or veterans, is provided? Must these matters be referred to the over-burdened activities of the Auditor General’s office, for adjudication and/or review prior to receiving the only method of obtaining both guaranteed adherence to and recognitiion of these same aforementioned legislated obligations?

    ‘We are all one’, lest we forget how much we really pay

    http://sites.google.com/site/bcbrad3evennow/lethal-environmental-threats

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.” Burke

    “Check the weather when you venture out’; check the faces when you venture in.” Chinese Proverb

    Like

  7. Pingback: Canadian troops kill Afghan children | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.