Every once in a while I start to wonder why I bother. Its not like I’m getting anywhere. Dominion Command and Provincial Commands will just carry on as usual. Their arrogance goes way beyond any form of reasonable dialogue with the membership. They are not going to give up their cushy and rich perks-pay and self importance for a few discontented members. They are in their Ivory Towers, high above and safe from veterans. I ask myself why I bother,I’m 77 years old and certainly do not need the stress and aggravation in my life. However,each time I become discouraged it seems I get another email that drives me forward one more time. I would like to share this email from Kyle.
|I am a 29 year old Afghan vet. I served as a Leopard tank driver with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (RC). I released a few years ago and moved back home to Portage La Prairie. I joined the legion, because I missed having army buddies to talk to. Shortly after we lost Cpl Cirillo there was a call out on a Facebook page for Canadian Vets to stand guard at their local Cenotaphs. It was a Friday afternoon so I decided to head to the legion after work for a beer and to see if anyone would join me the next day at the Cenotaph. I work construction now, and was wearing a high vis safety shirt. There was a member working the door for the meat draw, and when I tried to enter he stopped me and asked if I could change my clothes, or just have a quick beer and leave before the meat draw started. I was taken back by this, but I didn’t argue. I came back with different clothes on and politely asked the gentleman if it was an actual rule passed by the board that high vis work clothes were not allowed in the legion? He said no, but “certain” members didn’t like them. I than politely explained to him that I was in fact a member, I served with the Strathcona’s and served in Afghanistan. This didn’t matter to him, he went on to tell me that he had been a member of the legion for over 20 years and they just didn’t like those type of clothes in the legion. If this had been an actual rule, I would not have questioned it, but it wasn’t. And the attitude this guy had with me really floored me. I left and never went back. The legion was founded for young men that returned home after serving their country. I wanted to go to MY legion for a beer after a hard days work and was not met with the kind of welcome I expected. I have spoke to other young vets and I am hearing similar stories. It seems that some people think of the legion as their own personal social club, and they don’t like change or new people spending time there. I tried to invite a few of my friends to the legion before this happened and we were made to feel very uncomfortable by the “regulars” because we were having a few beers and having a good time, by no means out of hand, but they made it clear we weren’t welcome. The legion always seems to be reporting that membership is down, but when I tried to support it I felt like an intruder. If they don’t want young vets showing up who invite a few friends in on a cold winter afternoon for beer and pool, who do they expect to be there in the next couple of decades?
Sadly Kyle your story is all too common, But take heart it not just young veterans, they are not all that keen on us older veterans either!!!!
God Bless and keep reading