Wednesday, 15 September 2010


This news item reminded me of how much better run Canada is than the UK. In the UK, if you serve your full 'twelve' in the Navy, Army or Air Force, see active service in wars or NATO, UN ops; once you finish or retire, that's it. No more involvement apart from through the British Legion and the informal 'old boys network' of ex-servicemen. Maybe a Forces pension. Or if you get seriously wounded a disability pension. Apart from that, you're on your own.

Here in Canada we have the Department of Veterans Affairs, special motoring insurance discounts for veterans with special numberplates and pensions. Even ex-members of the RCMP and Local Police force are eligible. There appears to be no cut off as the barracks gate shuts behind you for the last time. You served your country and this is part of the payback for that service.

A real life example is a friend who served in the Canadian Navy who has all his special health care needs dealt with via the DVA. They have made a number of visits and payments to him since he became seriously ill over the past two years, and, being the man he is, he's often voiced some small embarrassment at their largesse. All he has to do is ask.

The Canadians really seem to know how to treat their ex-servicemen. At least to this outsider. Yet the UK has not truly learned the lesson from Kipling's time when ex servicemen were discarded after discharge or crippling injury.

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