I think I owe an explanation to the readers of my blog who may not be involved with or interested in the Royal Canadian Legion. I realize my daily blogs have mainly focused on issues surrounding the Legion, in particular Dominion Command. It began for me over three years ago when I saw a letter to the Editor of the local newspaper. An elderly Charlottetown lady sent a letter to the editor asking if it was permissible for her to wear her late husbands medals on her right breast to Remembrance day Services. She was promptly told no, by local legion officials. I was surprised, up until that moment I had assumed it was a tradition that blood relatives may wear these medals as a mark of respect and to honour the late veteran. It was certainly allowed in the UK and other Commonwealth Countries. I quickly presented a resolution approved by my branch to Provincial Command. The resolution asked Provincial Command to forward a request to amendment to section 419 of the criminal code. It was turned down,and shortly after I was accosted by a Provincial Command member at my local branch. He was quite intent that I should understand how very wrong I was. I then re-wrote the resolution directly to Dominion Command, but once again it was stopped dead at Provincial. At this point I believed I was alone in my quest. I considered perhaps I should listen to the legion official and leave it there. However, after receiving a terse and sarcastic letter from the chair of a special committee claiming my resolution had been unanimously voted down I decided to take this further. The chairman of this special committee was an associate member, I questioned why there was not a chain of command. Even if stopped at provincial level I should have the right to take my resolution to the next level. I received no more letters or any other form of communication,I was totally ignored. I don’t want to go into too many more details beyond this point, I fear I might sound like a broken record and become boring, maybe I already have!!. Nevertheless, this was the moment I began to dig a little deeper and was surprised with what I learned. Far from being alone I was one of many veterans who were less than happy with the legion hierarchy. Since then I have campaigned for change at the leadership levels. There are too many questions about the poppy fund and where it is being used. Too many questions about Dominion Command, the secrecy of their salaries,travel and expenses. Too many questions about commercializing the poppy, about selling legion medals to members, giving away 1 year free memberships. Too little mention of real veterans in need, and too many unanswered questions of where funding to needy veterans was ending up. So folks, I will apologize in advance, saying sorry, but my campaign must continue. Like my comrade, Joan Beznoski, I may soon find myself banned from the legion too. Its very sad to think that dedicated veteran members are rapidly being regarded as the enemy of the present day legion. What is even sadder, is to remember how great and respected this once proud and honoured veterans organization once was.
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God Bless and keep reading