I dare say some people will be offended by my week of Legion Bashing Blogs. I’m truly sorry about that . However we need to make clear what is taking place in today’s Royal Canadian Legions. I respect the founding principles of the Legion, it was created to have veterans helping veterans. The question to ask yourself is this, are these principles being followed today? In my opinion they are not (I cite the case of Lawrence Weldon see blog 5th May). Today’s legions are mainly being run by associate members who have never served in the military and do not see things as do veterans. Yet these same associate members wear the legion uniform and wear the legion medals, people see them as the veterans of today. I believe for this and other reasons the new and younger veterans are not joining. The legion has opened up membership to all and sundry, anyone can join, the bottom line is keep the membership numbers up, keep the dues coming in. I would be the first to admit that local branches do great work within their communities supporting charities etc. Yet over all I do not find the legion a good place for my membership. Allow me to express some recent experiences when attempting to deal with both Dominion and Provincial Commands. Two years ago (2015) I sent a resolution to PE Provincial Command, the subject, amending section 419 of the Criminal Code. Re-relatives wearing late loved ones medals (Right Breast)to Remembrance Day parades. My resolution was turned down. This year 2016 I re worded the resolution and sent it to Provincial Command to be forwarded to Dominion. Again it was denied, I question who had the authority to do this, surely I have a right to have my issue heard at the Dominion Convention. The convention takes place in June 2016 in Saint Johns NFLD, but my resolution will not be there. I received a terse letter from a Claus Broderson, (provincial command) apparently he chaired a special sub committee meeting where my resolution was not just voted down it was, in his words, unanimously voted down. I then requested a meeting with this committee to present my side, no response! While I understand not everyone will agree with me, I find it appalling to be subjected to the heavy handed treatment I have encountered. What gives Claus Broderson and his special sub committee!!! the right to block this resolution from being forwarded up the chain of command. What gives him the right to tell a veteran and member of good standing his resolution will not be heard. I do not know if Broderson is a veteran or associate, I tend to think by his attitude he is the latter. Military principles allow the lowliest soldier to take his complain all the way to the top if he so wishes. The legion should be doing the same. After my denial at Provincial I forwarded the resolution on to Dominion Command myself (outside of channels) and added a letter of complaint. Guess what??? I was ignored, no response nothing. It leaves me wondering if a legion members rights are only valid if they don’t upset the Legion hierarchy. This is just the tip of the iceberg, we have numerous other issues that need to be dealt with. As an example in some branches on Remembrance day at the evening dinner WW2 and Korean Vets and their wives dine free, while other veterans (like myself) have to pay for our wives. Its a petty issue I know, but nevertheless, it has created a double standard, two classes of veterans, that is not the way forward. It leaves the latest Legion Motto as simply that, Meaningless Words. My final word on this subject, the legion may block my resolution, but they cannot stop me from continuing the fight. If I cannot have this law amended through legion channels then I will find another way through the Justice Dept of Canada. Where there is a will there is a way.
God Bless and keep reading.