Two years ago, one of the social workers at the MFRC stopped by my office. He had a problem. It seemed that the veterans mental health counselling program was in a bit of a bind. The local office of Veterans Affairs Canada was moving to a shopping centre and the mental health counsellor could not do any counselling there. Might we have some space available? And by the way, the program had no money for rent. It would have to be be a freebie.
I said I would ask, and to give me a week or two to see if I could swing it.
"We are out in three days. Got some temporary space?.
"Done," I said.
I cleared it with the church office and the counsellor was using our building by the end of the week.
I took the proposal to the church council the following week. There was no question. The program would be welcome for as long as necessary and, of course, there would be no charge.
We have the counsellor using our meeting room (comfy chairs and sofas and quiet) and have recently added a monthly peer support group meeting. It has been a success for everyone.
We get nothing but the thanks of the veterans and their families. It's our privilege to be a small part of their life. -- Need-based health care not greed-based health care.
The Iltis at the Canadian War Museum seen in this video is interesting. Yes, those are bullet holes. One of the Canadian peacekeepers who was shot six times lives in our area and runs the peer counselling program I noted above.
That clip tries denote how serious that vehicle damage is when you stand right next to it, but the gravity of it isn't the same as being there and looking at it. When you stand there, you can't help but think "Holy ****, peacekeeping really is a serious business where our Canadian Forces put their lives on the line to protect others". -- "Pro amicis mortui amicis vivimus" (We live in the hearts of friends for whom we died) the inscription on the Memorial in the Canadian War Cemetery at Groesbeek, the Netherlands
That clip tries denote how serious that vehicle damage is when you stand right next to it, but the gravity of it isn't the same as being there and looking at it. When you stand there, you can't help but think "Holy ****, peacekeeping really is a serious business where our Canadian Forces put their lives on the line to protect others".
I heard John T. tell the story of his first sight of the Iltis after he recovered. It took him about an hour of just sitting there in the vehicle to come to terms with how close he came to dying.
BTW, the Iltis was cleaned up and stripped. All the kit is gone and any blood was removed. -- Need-based health care not greed-based health care.
My Grandmother often talked about how lucky our family was since her 3 brothers all served and all three came home. The big joke was that her youngest brother was lucky enough to be a driver for a general and spent most of the war playing chess with him. The oldest one was not so lucky and saw combat. The middle brother was the worse off as he was in the merchant navy and spent a lot of time in the water. He was never the same from what I've heard. My family is very proud of them...
Forgot to mention the other side of the family. My great uncle joined the army ahead of the war and was trained to repair weapons so he didn't participate in active combat but contributed nonetheless.
One more thing. Both my grandfathers volunteered and were rejected. One due to hearing loss in one ear and the other due to flat feet!