A New Toy In the Family

On Tuesday the 19th September 2017 we had a new toy arrive in our driveway. Linda has bought another motorcycle! a 2004 BMW sports something. I’m not into bikes so can’t tell you any details of model etc. I do know its a single cylinder and can be used on or off road. I’ll leave you to work out other details from the photos. I really need some help here!! the garage is jammed packed. We have the caravan inside for the winter, the kayak ,the quad and the other bike, plus Linda motorcycle ensemble of helmets, jackets and pants. Almost forgot to mention a couple of bales of straw for the chickens. The Corolla is sitting outside forlorn and unloved.  So I’d be delighted if some kind soul came along to buy her other bike. Its in great condition, 2014 she bough it new and has babied it since. Its never been left outside, always maintained and comes with several additions, saddle bags, windshield and such. Its a Yamaha Bolt 950cc with approx. 20,000 gentle Klms. Linda has it advertised on a variety of FB buy sell pages plus kijiji, asking price $5300. I cant give you any details other than already in this blog. However, if you are interested contact me via this blog or by email and I will be happy to have Linda go into her selling mode. Please think about it or if not the bike think about me and my over stuffed garage.

God Bless and keep reading

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Legion Woes Continue to Pile Up

So many legion complaints and they just keep coming. After reading the report below I had to believe it is very much in line with my own issues. I did a blog sometime ago about the atmosphere that surrounds most branches today, I will re-post with this blog because it points to one of the reasons veterans are not joining the Royal Canadian Legion.

The Decaying Legions
Posted on March 28, 2017
by irishroverpei

Have you ever considered the first impressions when entering one of our Royal Canadian legion branches? At the entrance we are often greeted with an overwhelming odor of cigarette smoke and a walkway littered with butts. Once through the doors we have to accustomed our eyes to the dark and gloomy interior with few or no windows. The air smells musty with stale beer and the walls are stained and yellowed with the nicotine of years passed. One wall greets us with row on row of framed and dower looking past presidents. Maybe they are remembering better times. The opposite wall there stands a large display cabinet of ancient WW1-2 and Korean medals, it looks dusty and unused. Not a sign of a medal from later wars. Crossing the bar I feel the eyes of the few members following my progress. No one speaks or shows any sign of welcoming, I feel like an intruder wondering if I have any right to be here. Why would I remain in this place of decay and ghostly shadows? Simply put I wouldn’t and I don’t. I’d much rather pop into MacDonald’s and share a very reasonably priced morning cup of coffee with my senior friends and neighbours, many who are veterans. That folks is my impression of today’s legion.

Why today’s veterans avoid the Royal Canadian Legion
Most members of today’s Legion have never spent a day in military uniform
by Robert Smol
November 10, 2016 8:00 

Little seems to be standing in the way of the Royal Canadian Legion, its Remembrance Day poppies and the respect and gratitude that Canadians so willingly bestow upon it.
Our government looks upon the RCL as a primary stakeholder in veterans affairs. As a sign of our collective gratitude, many municipalities exempt their Legion branch from paying taxes. And on Remembrance Day across the country on Friday (November 11), many of its 1,400 branches and more than 300,000 members will be front and centre.
All this might be appropriate if the Legion were actually an organization of veterans advocating for other veterans and their families. But despite the praiseworthy efforts of some of its veteran members, the Royal Canadian Legion no longer represents the vast majority of today’s vets either demographically or politically.
After the Korean War, instead of embracing new generations of returning soldiers, the RCL began to assume a community focus that gradually opened its membership to non-vets.
Most members of today’s Legion have never spent a day in military uniform. As a result today’s veterans, myself included, see little at our local branch that makes us feel welcome.
“I used to be a big fan of the Legion” says former member Michael Blais, who served for 16 years in the Royal Canadian Regiment. “But it seemed to be pointless, as there were too many civilians and you were the token veteran on the executive.”
Today, Blais advocates for veterans through his own organization, Canadian Veterans Advocacy.
Retired army colonel Michel Drapeau, an Ottawa lawyer, says, “Modern-day veterans do not join the Legion, because they consider it a ‘civilian’ club.”
Just how open is the Legion’s door to non-veterans? These military wannabes can wear the Legion “uniform” and occupy leadership positions right up to the highest “command” levels, making decisions and advising government on behalf of actual military veterans.
They’re also entitled to wear the Legion’s own merit medals, which trusting, inexperienced members of the public often mistake for real military decorations. You do not have to serve in the military to earn them. According to the Legion it is an uphill battle to reach out to younger generations of veterans.
“Engaging younger generations in community organizations is a challenge for most, if not all, not-for-profit organizations,” says Bruce Poulin,  manager of communications at the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command. “It is not specific to the Legion.”
This is not to say that those who have never served in the military cannot understand and advocate for veterans.
But service, and especially wartime and extended service in the military, generates a culture of familiarity based on shared experience, both good and bad. This sense of kinship can be invaluable when seeking support and assistance due to a service-related disability. The same group spirit can also galvanize veterans to organize when government attempts to limit or deny them benefits.
And it’s with respect to these benefits, which together embody government’s “sacred trust” to provide today’s veterans with the supports they need, that the Legion has most noticeably lost its way.
When the battle-hardened veterans of the First World War formed the Legion in 1926, one of their main objectives was “to secure adequate pensions, allowances, grants and war gratuities for ex-servicemen, their dependents, and the widows, children and dependents of those who have served, and to labour for honourable provision being made for those who, in declining years, are unable to support themselves.”
But by 2000, the civilian-dominated Legion was more concerned with beer, darts and photo ops with politicians. So perhaps veterans like myself should not have been surprised that the Royal Canadian Legion supported the New Veterans Charter passed in 2005, which eliminated disability pensions for all Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans newly injured after 2006.
As a result, today’s younger disabled veterans have to settle for one-time lump sum payments that typically fail to come close to the lifetime pensions their fathers’ and grandfathers’ generation could rely on.
In May 2005, then president of the RCL Mary Ann Burdett told the Senate committee examining the legislation that “there should be no doubt whatsoever that the Royal Canadian Legion fully supports this initiative. We want this legislation.”
Today, in the face of near-universal derision over the New Veterans Charter by veterans and their families, the Legion is trying to qualify its previous support for the government initiative, stating on its website that it “never fully and unconditionally supported the Charter” and that at the time they were told that it was a “living charter which would be amended as flaws or gaps were identified.”
To be fair, there are signs that the Legion is aware of the need to redefine its mandate. Earlier this year, a group of concerned veteran members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 15 in Brampton surveyed veterans on their perception of the Legion and its services.
Says Branch 15 third vice-president Chris Banks, a veteran of both the Bosnia and Afghanistan wars: “Responders pointed out that branches weren’t attracting younger veterans because, in their opinion, there was nothing for them. Many said the Legion is too old-fashioned and out of touch. And some told me the Legion didn’t live up to their expectations.”
Looking squarely at where it has gone wrong could be the first move in a reformed RCL that actually stands for today’s aging ex-soldiers like me.
Robert Smol served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 20 years.
news@nowtoronto.com | @nowtoronto

God Bless and keep reading

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Joint Personnel Support Unit????

Canadian Forces drops job offer for veterans’ advocate after he tells Trudeau system is failing wounded soldiers
Barry Westholm had been a Joint Personnel Support Unit sergeant major before quitting in 2013 to protest the poor state of affairs in the unit that is supposed to take care of injured troops

Barry Westholm had his offer of employment rescinded because he wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to complain that injured military personnel, including a soldier who died, weren’t being treated properly.Chris Mikula / Postmedia

David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen
September 19, 2017
8:24 PM EDT
Filed under
News Canada

A veterans’ advocate courted for a job by the Canadian Forces had his offer of employment rescinded because he wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to complain that injured military personnel, including a soldier who died, weren’t being treated properly.

The Canadian Forces had offered the job in June to retired Master Warrant Officer Barry Westholm, acknowledging that his advocacy for injured soldiers was just what was needed to turn around the Joint Personnel Support Unit.
Westholm had been a JPSU sergeant major before quitting in 2013 to protest the poor state of affairs in the unit that is supposed to take care of injured troops.
Westholm replied to Lt.-Col. Chris Robidoux, JPSU deputy commander, that he was interested in becoming involved in the plan to set a new direction for the unit. But Westholm stipulated he would work for free since he felt an obligation to help the injured.
However the job offer was rescinded two months later because Westholm sent emails to Trudeau, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance outlining how the current system failed military personnel, including Pte. Leah Greene.

Canadian military leaders aware for years of problems facing unit for injured soldiers: documents
DND quietly shelves report from investigation into inadequate care for ill and injured troops
Westholm emailed Trudeau on July 22 to complain that Greene, who suffered a spinal injury during her military service that left her partially paralyzed, had run into roadblocks trying to get help from the Canadian Forces and government.
Greene, who for years had been dealing with bureaucratic red tape, chronic pain and mental issues, died July 26.
After her death, Westholm also sent emails to various ministers questioning why the system failed the soldier, highlighting problems both with the JPSU and Veterans Affairs in the Greene case.
He also sent an email to Sajjan and Vance requesting Greene’s family be awarded a Sacrifice Medal.
Robidoux, who originally offered Westholm the job, chastised the retired veteran for his emails. “You have repeatedly made slanderous, inappropriate and ill-informed statements about the JPSU and its personnel to our CDS, MND, PM and many others,” Robidoux wrote in an Aug. 22 email.
The officer stated it would be “very inappropriate to invite” Westholm to be part of the team planning to improve the JPSU system. He concluded Westholm wouldn’t “be a good fit.”
The focus is more on optics, making sure no one in the leadership is embarrassed.
Retired Master Warrant Officer Barry Westholm

Westholm now questions whether the military is serious about fixing the system. “They don’t seem to want to hear about where the problems are and how they can be fixed,” he said in an interview. “The focus is more on optics, making sure no one in the leadership is embarrassed.”
Westholm said he was surprised by Robidoux’s response, noting the officer was well aware of his advocacy for injured troops and highlighting problems with the system. In fact, Robidoux acknowledged in his initial email it was an opinion piece Westholm wrote in June, critical of JPSU, that prompted him to reach out with the job offer.
“Clearly you are a very passionate and knowledgeable person, and just the kind of person that we need to help move our yardsticks,” Robidoux wrote in a June 22 email.
Westholm provided the correspondence to the Ottawa Citizen.
Robidoux sent Westholm an official letter Sept. 1 apologizing for the language he used in his email chastising the veteran. But the job offer was no longer on the table.
The Canadian Armed Forces recognizes the importance of diversity and actively looks to recruit candidates with different views.
Canadian Forces spokesman Navy Lt. Kelly Boyden

Canadian Forces spokesman Navy Lt. Kelly Boyden said the military cannot discuss specific individual employment issues. “We can advise that the Canadian Armed Forces seeks to hire, recruit and retain the very best candidates for available positions,” he added in an email. “The Canadian Armed Forces recognizes the importance of diversity and actively looks to recruit candidates with different views, experiences, and skill sets needed to meet the needs of our members.”
There has been praise for JPSU, originally created to offer programs to help mentally and physically injured troops resume their military careers or more commonly, to make a gradual transition into the civilian world.
But critics such as Westholm have continually raised concerns that injured personnel aren’t getting the attention they need because of the staff shortages and excessive workloads in JPSU.
The unit has had three commanding officers in the past year.
In addition, recently released documents obtained under the Access to Information law show the military leadership was well aware as far back as February 2014 that the JPSU was in dire straits with not enough staff and a growing number of injured soldiers to help.
Despite the severity of the problems, the Canadian Forces leadership continued to claim injured personnel were receiving a top level of care.
dpugliese@postmedia.com

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Follow Up to yesterday’s blog (Legion still awarding Fake Medals)

 

I thought it was worth re-running this blog from last year. It really shows the poor attitude of those at Dominion Command regarding wearing of medals. Its a crime for a blood relative to wear late loved ones medals on their right breast on Remembrance Day, and the legion supports this law. However, its more than okay for associate members to adorn themselves with cheap and plentiful pretend legion medals, awarded or purchased. Its laughable that they cite, if our young cadets and a few religious orders can wear medals it must be okay for associate members to wear medals.  In fact no other organization has or awards as many pretend medals as the Royal Canadian Legion. This is the oldest and was once the most revered Veteran Organization in the nation, why would veterans need these legion pretend medals?? The reason as I see it, its not about veterans, its the associate members who feel they deserve to look like real veterans. When they wear a chest full of right breast medals the average member of the public think they are actual veterans. I also find it amusing that these associates decide when they salute whether to be Navy or Army or RCAF.

Its interesting to note when Tom Eagles attended the Legion meetings in the UK, he wore his uniform but not his legion medals?? just a wee bit embarrassing eh!~!~ Medal man. The Royal British Legion do not wear any medals other than those earned in military service. They award pins rather than these cheap RCL trinkets

Here are two typical examples of associate members, (civilians) wearing more legion medals than the average WW2 veteran earned during the war????

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, veterans | Leave a comment

Legion Continue to Award Fake medals (Stolen Valour)

Legion Medals Galore!!!!!

Queens Sapphire Jubilee Medal (NOT)

“AWARD” is proud to announce the striking of the Commemorative Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee Medal which has been struck to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the HM the Queen’s reign; the first time this has been achieved by a British monarch. The design is a celebration of her reign, detailing the plants that represent the United Kingdom and medal ribbon reflecting the gleaming beauty of a blue sapphire. . THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL ISSUE OF THE MEDAL. We are delighted to offer an exclusive opportunity to apply and purchase the medal for those who have served or are currently serving for Crown and Country.

Azpïraté Johnson‎Vets Take Back the Legion

·

 

This pic just came across my desk. Legionaires giving themselves fake medals again. Manatoulin Island in the summer. They are pinning the “queens sapphire jubilee medal.” Its fake. Some company that makes commemorative medals is making it. It is NOT authorized for wear by UK military or Canada. So shouldn’t be on the left. But hey this dude probably has too many legion medals on the right.

 

Bill Blaney
8:04am Sep 15
Um, if you have to BUY it, its not a medal its a decoration plain and simple.
Probably their all knowing Sgt.At Arms for Alberta NWT Command of the RCL to go along with this knowledge of flags and fake uniforms. lol

This is today’s typical legion practice,  associates are not real veterans but hey!!! with these posh medals we look like real veterans. Anyway, we can buy as many as we like. They make us look great and the public think we are the real deal

Its interesting to note in the four legion members photographs (all associate or at least three of the five are)  with this blog they are wearing a total of Thirty Five (35) medals between them and that’s just the ones I was able to see and count. None of these medals have been awarded for military service!

Shame on Dominion Command for not supporting blood relatives to wear deceased family members actual medals on Remembrance day, Of Course they offer their tried and tested REASON— it dilutes the value of the medal????????? EH??? But you can buy these pretend medals for only $25 ea plus postage

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in military, veterans | 1 Comment

A Little Sunday Humour

A man was leaving a convenience store with his morning coffee when he noticed a most unusual funeral procession approaching the nearby cemetery.
A black hearse was followed by a second black hearse about 50 Feet behind the first one. Behind the second hearse was a solitary man walking a dog on a leash.
Behind him, a short distance back, were about 200 men walking single file.
The man couldn’t stand the curiosity. He respectfully approached the man walking the dog and said:
“I am so sorry for your loss, and this may be a bad time to disturb you, but I’ve never seen a funeral like this. Whose funeral is it?”
“My wife’s.”
”What happened to her?”
“She yelled at me and my dog attacked and killed her.”
He inquired further, “But who is in the second hearse?”
The man answered, “My mother-in-law. She was trying to help my wife when the dog turned on her.”
A very poignant and touching moment of brotherhood and silence passed between the two men.
“Can I borrow the dog?”
The man replied, “Get in line.

Posted in family, Just Fooling, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Last British Battleship HMS Vanguard

HMS Vanguard was the Royal Navy’s last Battleship. I once walked her decks when she was moored in the creek above Portsmouth harbour. An impressive ship, even if perhaps beyond the time of great battleships. She was not in service and was waiting to be towed north to be broken up for razor blades, (as they use to say in those days). 

 

 

I had assumed I’d seen the last of this amazing ship, until one afternoon in the late summer of 1960. I was enjoying a pint with my shipmate Michael Chislett in a little pub named the Coal Scuttle. This quaint little bar was locate in Old Pompey on the point at the harbour entrance. We were sitting near a window in the warm sunshine. Suddenly the sun was gone and it became quite dark. We went outside to discover the reason . Towering above us the huge bow of the Vanguard. She was being towed out of the harbour when the tow line broke and the grand old lady slewed broadside across the harbour entrance. I imagine the harbour would have remained closed for sometime.

Moving this huge vessel would take time, but Michael and I didn’t stay to see the final outcome. Once again I assumed this would be the last time I’d see the mighty ship. However, some months later we arrived in Faslane aboard the submarine Taciturn. There across the dock lay what remained of Vanguard, just her hull still afloat with about two feet above the water line.

This was clearly the last time I’d see this old ship! or was it??? Approximately one year later we were in Campbelltown at the tip of Argyll. I meet a local man and we got talking about vehicles. He insisted I come home with him to see his old bus converted into a camper. It was indeed a marvelous conversion, bunk beds capped in rich mahogany stainless steel wash basin and brass fittings, and an array of other nautical fittings. All items he’d purchase in Faslane from the scraped HMS Vanguard. This was indeed the last time I’d see any part of the Grand Old Lady. Nevertheless, this was a sad story of a great ship that I believe should have been preserved for history.

God Bless and keep reading

 

 

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Del Mastro Goes to jail!!!!

I couldn’t resist re-posting my blogs from 2012,2013 and 2014, This good ole boy is now in jail.

Guilty!!!!what,Me, you must have it wrong.
Previous Post 24th June 2014
Remember this Good Ole Boy??? he stood up in parliament two years ago and made the following statement. The Conservative Party do not need to be investigated by the RCMP because they have done nothing wrong. Its so refreshing to have such honest members of parliament standing up and defending their integrity. Oops! is that the same Good Ole Boy who is now in court for cheating on his election campaign funds. Below I have re-posted my blog from 21st June 2012, what goes around comes around eh!!!!!
Posted 27th Sept 2013

I Fought the Law and the law Won!!!!!!!

Del Mastro is now waiting in the chow line with other inmates, likely at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont., a testament to the fact that Canada is a nation of laws, and the powerful, if they are sufficiently dim-witted or bull-headed, can be made to pay for their crimes.
It’s as ugly a story as we have seen in Canadian politics in recent memory, but it has a good moral. There is a limit, a firm limit, on how far bologna will take a man.”
A politician in prison is an interesting thing in Canada. Trying to imagine him in the cafeteria, exercise yard… In a facility for 30 days, probably overcrowded and little programming. Maybe if he’s lucky, somebody brings in a weekly Liars Anonymous meeting.

What goes around comes around eh!!!The Man of the Moment
Posted on March 6, 2012
Sorry folks! Please try to believe me, I honestly, really really really tried to write about something other than Canadian politics today. But the laughs rolling in from those comedians on the hill are just too precious to ignore. The posted photo is Dean Del Mastro MP, “The man of the Moment”. Harper was right on when he picked this guy as his mouth piece. Our Del Boy is amazing with his answers, he could have co-starred with Laurel & Hardy or Abbot & Costello. The latest zinger to be released from his red hot intellect came yesterday. In front of the news media he demand the Liberals turn over their phone records from the last election. When asked by a reporter if the Conservatives would be turning over their records, he said no. The conservatives did nothing wrong so don’t have to make their phone records public. Where did Harper find this guy???he’s great, he’s funny and through it all keeps a straight face, its incredible.
I think Bob Rae might become his greatest fan. If he can keep this up the Canadian parliament could soon move to Broadway. Del is so funny he could pass himself off as one of the thousands of Innocent men in prison. Groan!!! I really have to stop watching the CBC news on TV, my sides are still aching from all the laughing.

God Bless and keep reading.

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Marijuana Patronage Boom!!!

I suspect there are a lot of excited people hanging around the Liberals these days. They are anticipating the new rules around the legalization of marijuana and the huge patronage boom that will surely follow. It seems government cant trust local business people to run and regulate the sale of this product. They must purchase or rent expensive premises from liberal lackeys, renovate and appoint their faithful to lucrative salaried positions.   All this will be done at the expense of the island tax payers. . Surely we can ensure the safe selling of marijuana into the hands of islanders and their businesses.. The government can set the rules and be firm in there execution without creating another branch of patronage. However, none of this will happen until we change the way island governments operate. Sadly, patronage remains the key to successive Liberal/Conservative governments. Its enough to drive a man to smoking pot!!!

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, politics, Prince Edward Island, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We Have a Winner!!!!!

Great News

Yogi has won the competition by a large margine and the $2000 dollar prize. Congratulations Yogi it could not have happened to a better or more deserving person than you. So delighted that you will have a few extra dollars to carry you and the horses through the coming winter.

 

 

Come on folks Sunday is the last day of the competition and Yogi is still out in front.  So lets give her a FINAL big boost over the finish line. Vote for Yogi, competition voting ends on 10th September. Detail are in the  August 28th blog attached below . So vote vote vote!!!
Vote for Yogi Please.
Posted on August 28, 2017
by irishroverpei
I want to dedicate todays blog to my friend Yogi Fell.
Yogi is in the running to win $2000 in a competition, Heroes for the Horses. Please consider voting for her, everyday or even just once up until 10th Sept when the contest closes.
Handibear Hills Horse Sanctuary, Inc.

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, Prince Edward Island | Leave a comment